The King of Brobdingnag and Gulliver.–Vide. Swift's Gulliver: Voyage to Brobdingnag

James Gillray British
After Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Braddyll British
Publisher Hannah Humphrey British

Not on view

Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of France, perches on the hand of his enemy King George III who regards him through a spyglass. Five weeks before this print was published, the tenuous Peace of Amiens between Britain and France had broken down. The title refers to Jonathan’s Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726), in which the protagonist visits a land of giants, describes his nation’s political system to the king, and provokes a disgusted response. At first glance, this seems a supremely confident image: the huge figure of King George can barely see his tiny enemy. But Napoleon’s swagger and unsheathed saber hint at danger. Indeed, once hostilities resumed, the French began to construct an invasion fleet at Boulogne, and Londoners feared that they might soon see enemies marching up Piccadilly. Gillray’s prints helped to establish a paradigmatic image of Napoleon.

The King of Brobdingnag and Gulliver.–Vide. Swift's Gulliver: Voyage to Brobdingnag, James Gillray (British, London 1756–1815 London), Hand-colored etching and aquatint

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