Friday, August 2, 2013

Print of the Day: State-Jugglers, 1788

James Gillray
The British Museum

There's SO much of late Eighteenth-Century political significance happening in this print by James Gillray, that I couldn't possibly begin to do it justice in a short post.  So, let's take a look at it from the top down.  

Teeter-tottering on a post projecting from the facade of St. James Palace (which has been adorned with the sign from the Crown Inn), we see King George III in the guise of Mr. Punch and Queen Charlotte dressed as Judy.  By this point, George was quite out of his head and the monarchy was being supported by a variety of pandering handlers who are depicted here in a pyramid of various fairgrounds activities, including fire-breathing.  Military officers, hold out there hats for donations while the common people are kept at a distance.

Below the title is inscribed:

"Who wrought such wonders as might make
"Egyptian sorcerers forsake
"Their baffled mockeries, & own
''The palm of magick our's alone.''

Churchll, 16 May 1788 Hand-coloured etching

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