James Gillray was one of the finest caricaturists of the Georgian period. First apprenticed as an engraver in London, Gillray then attempted to launch himself as a conventional artist by studying at the Royal Academy School. But it was in caricature where Gillray found his true calling. He is thought to have published over a thousand satires during his lifetime, drawing special attention for his lampooning of George III, the royal family, Napoleon and revolutionary France.More Pigs than Teats is an allegory on the interminable pursuit of sinecures and political places that existed amongst the friends of the Prince Regent around the time of the Napoleonic wars, many of whom were literally feeding on the state. Britain is depicted here as a huge, wallowing sow, on whom suckle her numerous piglets, many of whom are clearly identifiable as government ministers and other office holders. John Bull meanwhile looks on aghast over a wall, declaring that there will be nothing left for Bonaparte once they were all done with her.
- Article by:
- Ruth Mather
- Power and politics
The start of the 19th century was a time of hostility between France and England, marked by a series of wars. Throughout this period, England feared a French invasion led by Napoleon. Ruth Mather explores the impact of this fear on literature and on everyday life.