James Gillray British
Publisher Hannah Humphrey British
Not on view
Gillray here embodies the pain associated with gout as a small sharp-clawed demon with a scorpian-like tail, snorting fire as it digs its teeth and talons into a man's big toe. The inflammation and associated agony of the condition is caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream which forms needlelike crystals that accumulate in a joint. Eighteenth-century Britons enjoyed roast beef, beer and port, all of which encourage the formation of uric acid and made gout an all too common affliction.