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Phaeton alarm'd!

Title
Phaeton alarm'd! [graphic] / Js. Gillray invt. & fect.
Publication
London : Publish'd March 22d, 1808, by H. Humphrey, 27 St. James's Street, [22 March 1808]
Physical Description
1 print : etching with aquatint ; plate mark 34.2 x 38 cm, on sheet 38.7 x 42 cm
Medium
wove paper
Notes
Title etched below image.
Six lines of quoted text following title: "Now all the horrors of the heav'ns he spies, "and monstrous shadows of prodigious size ...
Provenance
From a collection in twelve volumes probably compiled by Francis Harvey and sold at auction, Sotheby, London, June 1900. Bequest of Hugh Dudley Auchincloss to Yale University Library, 1981. Bound by Riviere & Son in three-quarters red morocco with gold tooling and gold lettering on spine.
Summary
"Canning, as Phaeton, drives his chariot with four horses abreast on a curving track across the heavens, slanting upwards across the design from left. to r. On this are signs of the zodiac; other constellations of the zodiac are on the darkened sky, above and below the path of Phaeton; all assail him. The base of the design is part of the northern hemisphere, showing the world in flames, and flanked by the ghosts of Pitt and Fox. In the lower left. corner is the ghost of Pitt as Apollo (half length); he weeps, dropping his lyre, and raises his shroud to gaze up at his son, Phaeton. He is surrounded by heavy clouds. In the opposite corner, the head and shoulders of Fox as 'Pluto', holding a pitchfork, emerge from flames: he looks up with sinister anxiety at the conflict in the heavens. Canning's head is the centre of an irradiated sun: 'The Sun of Anti-Jacobinism.' He is heroic, youthful, and naked, except for floating draperies. Above him (l.) is a crescent moon. His horses have human heads set behind equine jaws and nostrils which jet flame. They are (l. to r.): Hawkesbury, Perceval, Castlereagh (with a profile expressive of nobility), Eldon (sub-human). Flame streams backwards from the chariot wheels; the wheels pass over the (dismantled) scales, 'Libra-Britannicus' [British justice], one scale inscribed 'Copenhagen'. Close behind the chariot the British Lion, 'Leo Britannicus', rushes furiously; on the chariot's track, facing the horses, is the Ram (faintly sketched). Behind this is Taurus, a ferocious Irish bull, snorting fire at the horses. His collar is inscribed 'Erin go Bragh'; from it flies a rosary; to his tail is tied a pot inscribed 'Emancipation'. The most conspicuous assailant of the horses is 'Scorpio Broad-Bottom', with the head of Grenville, the words inscribed on the two ferocious claws, in which his arms terminate. (He is the Scorpion who 'bends out his arms into two bows, . . . [and] spreads over the space of two signs'.) The body spirals into a barbed tail, emitting names close to Fox. Smaller claws terminate in human heads (below, l. to r.): Temple, Spencer (both spitting fire), Bedford; (above, l. to r.): Moira, Tierney. Covering Grenville's posterior is an irregular circle. In its centre is an irradiated ring enclosing a chalice with the Host; round this are irradiated heads: Grafton, Stanhope, Derby, Carlisle, Norfolk, Holland. Flame and a barbed tongue issue from Grenville's mouth. ..."--British Museum online catalogue.
Variant and related titles
Phaeton alarmed
Format
Images
Language
English
Added to Catalog
June 09, 2015
References
Catalogue of prints and drawings in the British Museum, v. 8, no. 10972
Wright, T. Works of James Gillray, the caricaturist, p. 354
Wright, T. Historical and descriptive account of the caricatures by James Gillray, no. 340
Subjects
Canning, George, 1770-1827 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Pitt, William, 1759-1806 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Fox, Charles James, 1749-1806 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Castlereagh, Robert Stewart, Viscount, 1769-1822 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Liverpool, Robert Banks Jenkinson, Earl of, 1770-1828 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Perceval, Spencer, 1762-1812 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Eldon, John Scott, Earl of, 1751-1838 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Grenville, William Wyndham Grenville, Baron, 1759-1834 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Buckingham and Chandos, Richard Temple Nugent Brydges Chandos, Duke of, 1776-1839 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Hastings, Francis Rawdon-Hastings, Marquess of, 1754-1826 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Spencer, George John Spencer, Earl, 1758-1834 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Bedford, John Russell, Duke of, 1766-1839 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Tierney, George, 1761-1830 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Smith-Stanley, Edward, 1752-1834 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Grafton, Augustus Henry Fitzroy, Duke of, 1735-1811 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Norfolk, Charles Howard, Duke of, 1746-1815 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Stanhope, Charles Stanhope, Earl, 1753-1816 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Carlisle, Frederick Howard, Earl of, 1748-1825 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Holland, Henry Richard Vassall, Baron, 1773-1840 > Caricatures and cartoons.
St. Vincent, John Jervis, Viscount, 1735-1823 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Erskine, Thomas Erskine, Baron, 1750-1823 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 1751-1816 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Lansdowne, Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, Marquess of, 1780-1863 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Whitbread, Samuel, 1764-1815 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Lauderdale, James Maitland, Earl of, 1759-1839 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Sidmouth, Henry Addington, Viscount, 1757-1844 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Ellenborough, Edward Law, Baron, 1750-1818 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Grey, Charles Grey, Earl, 1764-1845 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821 > Caricatures and cartoons.
Genre/Form
Satires (Visual works) - England - 1808.
Etchings - England - London - 1808.
Citation

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