Fine art, Prints, drawings and watercolours, Caricatures

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'John Bull Peeping into Brest' (caricature)

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Prints, drawings and watercolours, Caricatures
ExhibitionsBroadsides! Caricature and the Navy 1775–1815
Gallery locationNot on display
Peoplepublisher: Middlemore, Roberts
Publication(s)Nelson & Napoléon
Margarette Lincoln
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Object details:

Object ID PAF3950
Description Hand-coloured print 'John Bull Peeping into Brest (caricature)'. A simply executed image extolling the might of British sea power over that of the French, with reference to the British blockade of Brest in 1803 by a squadron under Admiral Cornwallis. A gigantic figure of John Bull, dressed as Jack Tar, leans out of a boat off the French coast, eyeing the French ships at anchor in Brest harbour. He savours them as ‘a very Pretty light Breakfast’. In contrast, a diminutive Napoleon at the stern of one of the vessels utters the forlorn hope that ‘he don’t see me’. Gillray’s 1798 print JOHN BULL taking a Luncheon had earlier portrayed John Bull, the icon of English national character, as the enthusiastic devourer of French ships, and it may be that the draughtsman of this print is consciously recapitulating that image.
Date made Published June 1803

Artist/Maker Middlemore, Roberts
Woodward, George
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials hand-coloured etching
Measurements Primary support: 243 mm x 350 mm; Mount: 405 mm x 560 mm
  • 'John Bull Peeping into Brest' (caricature) (PAF3950)
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