plate: 8 7/8 x 13 5/8 in. (22.5 x 34.6 cm)
sheet: 11 1/8 x 14 7/8 in. (28.3 x 37.8 cm)
Gift of Walter L. Hildberg, 1923
Not on view
British politicians are imagined processing through the London docks to mourn the repeal of the Stamp Act on March 18, 1766. A year before, Parliament had imposed this excise tax on printed goods imported to the American colonies. Resulting boycotts led British merchants to pressure the government for repeal, and this anti-tax image mocks the act’s leading supporters. Behind two flag bearers, George Grenville (dismissed as chief minister in 1765) carries a small coffin marked "Miss Ame[rica] Stamp." He is followed by Lord Bute, another former chief minister identified by his Scottish bonnet and tartan suit. The London publisher Carington Bowles borrowed the composition from a print issued by a rival that sold thousands of copies. It uses the language of political satire Romeyn de Hooghe developed in Holland, combined with a simple dramatic structure that makes the elaborate allegory easy to understand.
Walter L. Hildburgh; Donor: Walter L. Hildburgh
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine," September 13, 2011–March 4, 2012.
British Museum Satires IV.4140 (variation of, similar to p. 373, paragraph 2)
Nadine Orenstein, Constance C. McPhee Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine Exh. cat.: September 13, 2011 - March 4, 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Haven and London, 2011, Entry by Constance McPhee, cat. no. 119, p. 158, ill.