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'Les invisibles'

27 of 27 portraits matching these criteria:

- subject matching 'Gillray in Focus'

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'Les invisibles'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching and stipple engraving, published 1810
10 1/4 in. x 13 1/8 in. (261 mm x 334 mm) paper size
Purchased, 1947
Reference Collection
NPG D12935

Artistsback to top

  • James Gillray (1756-1815), Caricaturist. Artist associated with 881 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.
  • Hannah Humphrey (circa 1745-1818), Publisher and printseller. Artist associated with 718 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

The balance of this design and the softness of the stipple technique recall popular contemporary fashion plates. Series such as Heideloff's Gallery of Fashion (the most luxurious style 'magazine' of the period, published monthly between 1794-1802) documented the latest clothes and accessories in exquisite detail. This print retains that sense of grace whilst undermining it by the ridiculous extremes of the fashions on display. Fashionable men and women engage in the ritual promenade in the park, their progress, vision and conversation greatly impeded by their high standing collars and exaggerated poke bonnets. The men wear their hair cropped beneath their fantastically inflated hats and wield vicious-looking bludgeons. The women wear equally bizarre headwear and, in answer to the men's clubs, carry discreet yellow fans.

Placesback to top

Events of 1810back to top

Current affairs

Serious 'Burdett and Liberty' riots break out in London in support of radical MP Sir Francis Burdett who had been arrested for denouncing the House of Common's decision to bar journalists from some debates.
Princess Amelia dies triggering renewed bout of illness in her father, George III.

Art and science

Sir Walter Scott publishes his chivalrous, medieval ballad, The Lady of the Lake, set on Loch Katrine in Perthshire.
Kennett and Avon Trunk Canal is completed.
First Savings Bank is set up by financier Henry Duncan.

International

Madame De Stael writes De l'Allemagne which portrays Germany as a model of Romantic nationalism for emerging revolutionary nations. It was banned by Napoleon but published in London to great acclaim.
Lisbon besieged. Wellington takes shelter behind the fortified lines of the Torres Vedras and the French army are forced to retreat.

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