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The Hero of the Nile (caricature)

PAF3888
Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Prints, drawings and watercolours, Caricatures
ExhibitionsBroadsides! Caricature and the Navy 1775–1815
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleArtist & Engraver: Gillray, James
Depiction: Nelson, Horatio
Publisher: Humphrey, H.
Publication(s)Nelson & Napoléon
Margarette Lincoln
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Object details:

Object ID PAF3888
Description The Hero of the Nile (caricature). In contrast to other unquestioningly adulatory prints of Nelson’s victory at the Battle of the Nile, Gillray here sardonically points to the very large material rewards heaped upon Nelson as a result. Burlesquing the genre of heroic portraiture, he presents Nelson in solitary full-length, on deck and enveloped in smoke. Gillray draws attention to the diamond chelengk in Nelson’s hat, presented to him by the Sultan of Turkey, and in the adapted coat of arms below the main image satirizes his recent baronetcy. In November Nelson was created Baron Nelson of the Nile and Burnham Thorpe and was awarded a pension of £2000 a year. Gillray substitutes for the correct arms on the original shield a bulging purse and scroll inscribed ‘£2000 pr Ann’. Placed alongside Nelson’s motto ‘Palmam qui meruit ferat’ (Let he who has earned it bear the Palm), Gillray undermines the motto’s meaning, to question whether such a large material reward really is merited.
Date made Published 1 December 1798

Artist/Maker Gillray, James
Humphrey, H.
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Caird Fund.
Materials etching
Measurements Primary support: 341 mm x 226 mm; Mount: 405 mm x 550 mm
Parts
  • The Hero of the Nile (caricature) (PAF3888)
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