Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Satire In Hell
Print made by J Lewis Marks (hand colored etching) 1814

"Napoleon is pushed and dragged by two winged devils into the flames of Hell, while a fantastic serpent encircles his body and darts fangs towards his face. They are surrounded by clouds and by a chain of little dancing hobgoblins. Winged monstrosities hover over him, spitting flame, or menace him with gaping jaws and glaring eyeballs. Napoleon is burlesqued and ragged, with a corvine profile, imitated from G. Cruikshank."

Print made by Isaac Cruikshank "The Devil wont take him, what a pity!!!" (hand colored etching) 1800-1805
"Napoleon (l.) stands outside the stone boundary wall of Hell. Behind the bars of an iron gate are two demons, standing among flames; one holds Napoleon off with a pitchfork pushed through the bars, the other holds out a serpent which stings his cocked hat. Flames fill the gateway, and arise from it; they appear above the top of the wall, on which are three winged demons, two hurling large stones, the other pointing at Napoleon. By them is etched: 'All the little Devils sitting on the Wall cry'd "Turn him out of Hell - turn him out of Hell" or else he'll ruin all"'. Napoleon, approaching the gate, says: "I am come to make you all free & happy!" The two demons within say: "Get you gone. You have cheated the Dutch & Italians; therefore Master says he's afraid you may take him in too!!"

Print made by Thomas Rowlandson "The flight of Bonaparte from Hell-Bay." (hand colored etching) 1815
"The Devil (left), in dressing-gown and nightcap and holding a long tobacco-pipe, to which is attached a soap-bubble, sits in an arm-chair before the flames of Hell (right) which stream up from a rocky pit or cavern. He looks up with a smile of deep satisfaction at Napoleon who stands near the summit of the pit against a background of smoke and flames, one foot resting upon a large floating bubble. He is beset by two flying dragons with serpentine bodies, one having two heads; these dart shafts of flame against him which cross like searchlights. He raises his sword, registering terror. On the ground below are two attendant demons with hairy bodies crouching one each side of their master; both look up in delight at the struggle; one (right) holds out his arms, spreading his talons, ready to catch the Emperor when he falls. The other holds a small bowl of soap-suds towards the Devil. The latter's arm-chair has arms in the shape of serpents; on the back sits an owl."

Artist unknown, "Dal braccio vostro, almi Sovrani, attende ..." (hand colored etching) 1799
"Satire on the oppression of Italy by the French revolutionary army: at right French soldiers, led by Napoleon, encumbered by loot, enter the mouth of hell, while on the left a female personification of Italy begs for aid from the other countries of Europe."

Print made by Thomas Rowlandson "Hell broke loose or the devil to pay among the darling angels." (hand colored etching) 1809
"The Devil, wearing legal wig, gown, and bands, stands under a massive stone archway inscribed Hell Gate. He holds up a pair of equally balanced scales inscribed Patriotism and Virtue; in the former sits Wardle, in the latter Mrs. Clarke. The balance is maintained by two demons, one clinging to each scale. The Devil has widespread feathered wings, scaly body, barbed tail, and talons, with a Mephistophelean face under a serjeant's wig and with a twisted ram's horn. In the fist grasping the scales is a scourge; he puts a talon slyly to his nose. He stands on a block inscribed Two of a Trade can Never Agree. Wardle, wearing cocked hat and regimentals, threatens the Devil with his fists; he sits on a paper inscribed Misconduct and beside him are a box inscribed Freedom Gold Box and a paper: Impeachment. Mrs. Clarke attempts by blandishments to mollify the Devil; she holds out her arms to him alluringly. Her posterior is inscribed Seat of Promotion, and she sits upon papers inscribed: Darling Angel; Pilula Salutarii; Mr Wright's Bill; Infection; Dear Dear; Doctor Donovan Bill; Adultery. The archway frames the three figures; its massive width recedes in perspective; behind the Devil are the flames of Hell in which a little demon flies. On the ground at his feet are a small crocodile (emblem of hypocrisy, cf. No. 11057) and a serpent spitting fire."

Print made by Charles Williams, After George Moutard Woodward "Buonaparte and his old friends on their travels!!" (hand colored etching) 1808
"The Devil pushes Napoleon down a slope towards the jaws of Hell (cf. BMSat 11036), while he directs him to look through his glass at a sun, East Indies, irradiating the sky, above the flames which his victim has not seen. He says: "There my fine little fellow - what do you think of that prospect - I always told you there was nothing got by staying at home, - that is the way to dish John Bull". Napoleon says: "It is certainly a very inviting prospect". The sun appears above a hill to which a road ascends but is barred by the fierce flames issuing from the gaping jaws of a huge monster (r.) in which two grinning demons await the Emperor with pitchforks. One says: "I always said with the help of our Old Master we should have him at last". In the background (l.) a road leads to a building among trees: 'St Cloud'."

Published by John Wallis "A peep below stairs a dream" (etching) 1784

Print made by James Gillray "The life of William Cobbet,—written by himself. N° 8." (hand colored etching) 1809

Print made by William Heath "Un Chiara Obscura" (etching) 1810
"A young man wearing a round hat and fashionable Hessian boots rushes forward with extended arms, dragged (left to right) to the brink of the pit of Hell, by a demon who tugs at a rope round his victim's neck. A second demon, rushing forward on hands and feet, propels the man, holding his leg; both have webbed wings and barbed tails, fanged jaws, and pendent breasts. Flames framed by the rocky mouth of a cave cover much of the design. On the extreme right sits a large chained demon who directs towards the victim from his jaws a blast containing paint-brushes and scrolls, inscribed with the name of a painter: 'Tasca', 'Bossi', 'Bibiena Galiari [? Galiani]', 'Gonsaga'. Above, Pluto holding trident and sceptre is enthroned beside a flying dragon, which breathes fire towards the victim. Flames stream through arches in a high convex stone wall which stretches across the background, representing the City of Dis. Small demons fly in the flames. Through an opening in the side of the cave (left) appear the head and shoulders of a man who watches with horror, exclaiming, 'Whats all this'."

Print made by Paul Sandby "The Fire of Faction" (etching) 1762
"Satire on Hogarth, shown as a devil fanning the fire at the mouth of hell."

Artworks and quotes taken from The British Museum.

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