“A colossal but life-like bust of Napoleon is placed on a mound of decollated human heads. He gazes fixedly upwards in profile to the left; round his neck and bare breast is twisted a noose of rope. Round this idol dance demons with human heads, holding hands. They are naked except for head-coverings, and have horns, hairy legs, tail, with one leg terminating in a cloven hoof, the other in the claw of a bird of prey. These ‘Hell Hounds’ have labels hanging from a collar of rope, showing that they are ‘Caulincourt’, ‘Fouché’, ‘Savory’, with a pen in his hat (he succeeded Fouché as Minister of Police in 1810), ‘Vandamme’, ‘Davoust’, ‘Ney’, ‘Lefebre’. Two demons fly towards the emperor, holding a large wreath which is on fire, with the inscription ‘He Deserves A Crown of Pitch.’ This they are about to place on the idol’s head, towards which gallops through the air a small demon (right) on a goat, blowing a horn. In the foreground lie dead and dying soldiers, one is decapitated, another (right) is naked and has lost an arm which he holds out with an agonized expression towards the idol. In the background (left) soldiers are feeding a bonfire with ‘English Goods’. On the right is a blazing town.”–British Museum online catalogue.
- Printmaker: Rowlandson, Thomas, 1756-1827, printmaker.
- Title: Hell hounds rallying round the idol of France [graphic].
- Publication: [London] : Pubd. April 8, 1815, by R. Ackermann, No. 101 Strand, [8 April 1815]
Acquired November 2022