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Britannia as a patient who is in danger of death owing to disagreement between her three doctors over their competing remedies; representing the weakness of Britain during the replacement of Addington by Pitt as Prime Minister and the exclusion of Fox. Coloured etching by J. Gillray, 1804.

  • Gillray, James, 1756-1815
Date:
20 May 1804
Reference:
12194i
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About this work

Description

The doctors are represented by prominent politicians. On the left Henry Addington is being kicked out of the patient's bedroom, dropping a bottle labelled "Composing draft". William Pitt the younger, who is booting him out, holds up a medicine bottle labelled "Constitutional restorative", and has his foot in the mouth of Charles James Fox. Pitt also has a bundle of pamphlets in his back pocket, one of which is entitled: "Art of restoring health". Fox, sprawled on the floor, is holding up a bottle labelled "Republican balsam" while in the other hand he has a bonnet rouge; from his pocket, dice and a container inscribed "Whig pills" have fallen. Britannia is approached on the right by a skeletal death-figure with the head of Napoleon, who knocks over the medicines and prescriptions on the patient's bedside table

Publication/Creation

[London] (27 St. James's Street) : H. Humphrey, 20 May 1804.

Physical description

1 print : etching, with watercolour ; platemark 25.4 x 37.4 cm

Lettering

Britannia between death and the doctor's. - "Death may decide, when doctor's disagree." Js. Gillray inv. et fec.

References note

British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. VIII, London 1947, no. 10244

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 12194i

Type/Technique

Languages

  • English


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