A woman being bled by one man while another holds her arm, two dogs lap up her blood; representing France in the grip of Louis XIV and Cardinal Richelieu, while the financiers drain her resources. Engraving.

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In the foreground are several catholic priests, three of whom are driving away the 'virtues'(represented as four beautiful women); a view of a setting sun forms the background to this expulsion. Two other priests are welcoming in the 'vices' (represented as a man in armour - war, a skeletal figure with arrow - death, a starving woman and child - poverty, and a figure cannibalising an arm - famine); a view of an approaching fleet of war ships forms the background of the invitation. Next to Louis XIV is a figure holding out a goblet into which an angel is pouring some liquid; next to Cardinal Richelieu is a gowned figure holding an urn and sprinkler. The crown and sceptre of France have been discarded on to the floor.

Physical description

1 print : line engraving with etching ; platemark 27.7 x 35.5 cm


France at death's door. ... Lettering continues: "The France in her bed much sicke Lewis the XIV her surgeon bleeding her above measure by ordinance of her old physition the Cardinal Richelieu representing the King's Privy Counsell the French clergy (represented by the Archbishop of Paris) her apothicarie giving her a potion of Angell's violl Ira Dei. The dolphin her poore priest besprinkling her the financers french dogs licking the blood of that Jesabel the saint societe her nurse banishing out of the kingdom the peace abundance, justice fidelite, all the vertues, and graces, and th'otherside bringing in the warre, mortalilie, povertie, famine, and every sort of mischiefes."

References note

Not found in: British Museum Catalogue of political and personal satires, London 1870-1954


Wellcome Collection 12160i


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