The theatrical atlas

Kean as Richard III, directed to the left, stands on a large volume with the word ‘Shakespear’ written on the top edge. Resting on his head and humped shoulders is a model of Drury Lane Theatre, a massive block, inscribed ‘Whitbreads Intire.’ On the roof is poised an ugly figure of Fame, blowing through a trumpet ‘Puff Puff Puff’, and holding behind her a second trumpet, from which issue the words ‘Puff Puff P’. In front straddles a tiny Whitbread, his legs and arms projecting from a cask which forms his body; he says: “Now by St Paul the work goes bravely on” (altering Richard’s words from ‘this news is bad indeed’). Kean stoops, leaning on a cross-hilted sword, inscribed ‘A Keen supporter’; he has misshapen bandy legs. He says: “Well, as you guess.” He wears an ermine-bordered cap encircled by a crown, slashed doublet and trunk hose, a sleeveless coat bordered with ermine and embroidered with a (Yorkist) rose, with flapped and spurred boots. (The figure, with the position of the arms altered, is a travesty of J.J. Hall’s portrait of Kean interrogating Stanley on the approach of Richmond. The costume is correct.) The stage is indicated by curtains flanking the design. In the background are clouds of smoke.–Adapted from British Museum.

  • PrintmakerCruikshank, George, 1792-1878, printmaker.
  • TitleThe theatrical atlas / G. Cruikshank fec.
  • Published[London] : Pubd. by H. Humphrey, St. James’s Street, May 7th, 1814.

Catalog Record

814.05.17.01+

Acquired June 2017

Britannia between death and the doctor’s

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A satire of Pitt’s return to office in 1804. Pitt is shown in the chamber of Britannia. Britannia sits listlessly on a bed, holding a sword in one hand. Next to her, leaning against the bed, is her shield and olive branches. Pitt holds aloft a bottle labelled “Constitutional Restorative” as he kicks another man, a caricature of Addington, through the door. Addington is in the process of dropping a bottle labelled “Composing Draft”. With his other foot, Pitt steps on the face of a flailing and prostrate Fox, who holds a bottle labelled “Rebublican Balsam” towards Britannia. From Fox’s pocket dice and a dice container labelled “Whig Pills” have fallen. Emerging from behind the bed curtains, the figure of Death, a skeleton with the face and plumed bicorne of Napoleon, overturns a table and upsets bottles of medicine and points his sword toward the unsuspecting Britannia.

  • Printmaker: Gillray, James, 1756-1815, printmaker, artist.
  • Title: Britannia between death and the doctor’s [sic] [graphic] : “Death may decide when doctor’s [sic] disagree” / Js. Gillray inv. et fect.
  • Published: [London] : Publish’d May 20th 1804 by H. Humphrey, [20 May 1804]

Catalog Record & Digital Collection

804.05.20.02+

Acquired November 2013