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'Vices overlook'd in the new proclamation'

11 of 23 portraits of Dorothy Jordan

'Vices overlook'd in the new proclamation', by James Gillray, published by  Hannah Humphrey, published 24 May 1792 - NPG D12456 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

'Vices overlook'd in the new proclamation'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 24 May 1792
10 3/8 in. x 14 5/8 in. (263 mm x 372 mm) paper size
Purchased, 1947
Reference Collection
NPG D12456

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Artistsback to top

  • James Gillray (1756-1815), Caricaturist. Artist associated with 881 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.
  • Hannah Humphrey (active 1778-1822), Publisher and printseller. Artist associated with 717 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

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This portraitback to top

With enough vices and unfolding scandals to occupy satirists for years, George III's profligate sons provided a rich source of material for artists such as Gillray. Through Gillray's pencil the Prince of Wales developed into an increasingly obese, spoilt and ridiculous figure, surrounded by food, liquor and his string of mistresses. In this instance the heir to the throne is mocked by a fat bawd as he is led, drunk and incapable, into the street. The miserly existence of the King and Queen is contrasted with the wanton gambling habits of the Duke of York. Lastly, the Duke of Clarence - later William IV - is pictured with his actress-mistress Dorothy Jordan, mother of his ten children. As was often Gillray's trick, his visual satire depended on verbal puns: a 'Jordan' was slang for chamber pot.