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James Gillray : The Suppressed Plates

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Britain (printed)

  • Date:

    1805 (first published)
    ca. 1850 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gillray, James, born 1757 - died 1815 (artist)
    Bohn, Henry George, born 1796 - died 1884 (publisher)
    Humphrey, Hannah (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving on wove paper

  • Credit Line:

    Gift from the Ministry of Justice

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

One large plate from an album containing 45 numbered prints on wove paper, the majority printed two per page, recto only. Numbered 37, it depicts Paul François Jean Nicolas, Vicomte de Barras, being entertained by Madame Talian and the Empress Josephine who dance naked behind a transparent curtain. Barras is depicted as grossly overweight, leering at the women gleefully and spilling wine on his waistcoat. His chair is decorated with a carving of the infant Bacchus, and is fringed around the base, which is littered with empty wine bottles. Napoleon stands on the right, peeping through one side of the curtain with wide-eyes and a severe expression, holding his cocked hat behind his back.
Lettered with titles, artist's name, caption, and the original publisher's name and address.

Place of Origin

Britain (printed)


1805 (first published)
ca. 1850 (printed)


Gillray, James, born 1757 - died 1815 (artist)
Bohn, Henry George, born 1796 - died 1884 (publisher)
Humphrey, Hannah (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Engraving on wove paper

Marks and inscriptions

Pubd Feby 20th 1805 by H Humphrey, St James's Street London
Lettered above the plate on the right


Height: 63.5 cm, Width: 48.3 cm Sheet

Descriptive line

One plate from an album of 40 'suppressed' caricatures featuring sexual, scatalogical and politically outrageous subject matter by James Gillray (1756-1815). Issued mid-19th century.


Wove paper



Subjects depicted

Sexuality; Leaders; Naked; Drunkenness; Wine; Dance


Prints; Satire; Caricatures & Cartoons


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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