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La belle Espagnole, - ou - la doublure de Madame Tallien.

  • Gillray, James, 1756-1815
25 February 1796
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Credit: La belle Espagnole, - ou - la doublure de Madame Tallien. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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Also known as

Previous title, replaced February 2021: A mulatto Caribbean woman wearing elaborate clothes and jewellry. Etching by J. Gillray after himself, 1796.


The identity of the woman in the print is unclear, The National Portrait Gallery (London) identifies the sitter as Maria Garcia, a dancer known as La Belle Espagnole.

The original catalogue note, reviewed March 2021, stated: "The subject of the print is not clear. Gillray had issued an earlier print of "Doublures", portraits of named persons with a second portrait indicating that person's secret character. The present mulatto woman, elaborately coiffed and bejewelled, presumably indicates the secret character of Madame Tallien, i.e. Thérésa Cabarrus, Madame Tallien (1773-1835), a wealthy Spanish woman who had married the French revolutionary Jean Lambert Tallien, and was subsequently Princesse de Chimay. "The negroid suggestion derives from the hair of the original, which is arranged in a mop of ringlets." (British Museum catalogue, loc. cit.) Mme Taillien wore her hair in that style. In the background hangs a painting entitled: "Havanna", presumably indicating the woman's origin in Cuba or the Caribbean. There may be a comparison between the French revolutionaries and the proponents of the Haitian revolution (1791-1803)"


[London] (New Bond Street) : H. Humphrey, 25 February 1796.

Physical description

1 print : etching


La belle Espagnole, - ou - la doublure de Madame Tallien. Js. Gy. d: et ft. Pubd 25th Feby 1796. by H. Humphrey New Bond Street.


Title taken from text on print.
On reverse is part of another print entitled: "Lady Godiva's rout; - or - Peeping Tom spying out [Pope-Joan]" - British Museum catalogue no. 8899

References note

British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. VII, London 1942, no. 8898


Wellcome Library no. 16855i



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