'The plumb-pudding in danger: - or - state epicures taking un petit souper' (William Pitt; Napoleon Bonaparte)

1 portrait

'The plumb-pudding in danger: - or - state epicures taking un petit souper' (William Pitt; Napoleon Bonaparte), by James Gillray, published by  Hannah Humphrey, published 26 February 1805 - NPG D12840 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

'The plumb-pudding in danger: - or - state epicures taking un petit souper' (William Pitt; Napoleon Bonaparte)

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 26 February 1805
10 1/4 in. x 14 1/4 in. (261 mm x 362 mm) plate size; 10 7/8 in. x 15 in. (276 mm x 381 mm) paper size
Purchased, 1947
Reference Collection
NPG D12840


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Sittersback to top

  • Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), Emperor of France 1804-14. Sitter associated with 84 portraits.
  • William Pitt (1759-1806), Prime Minister. Sitter associated with 167 portraits.

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.

This portraitback to top

'The plumb-pudding in danger' is probably Gillray's most famous print. It achieves its impact through the simplicity of its design and the brilliant economy with which Gillray captures the political situation. Napoleon Bonaparte and William Pitt face each other across a steaming 'plum-pudding' globe, both intent on carving themselves a substantial portion of the world. Pitt appears calm, meticulous and confident, spearing the pudding with a trident indicative of British naval supremacy. He lays claim to the oceans and the West Indies. In contrast Napoleon Bonaparte reaches from his chair with covetous, twitching eyes fixed on the prize of Europe and cuts away France, Holland, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and the Mediterranean.

Linked publicationsback to top