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Prints - English 14th-19th c.

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Phaeton alarm’d!

19th century
34.6 cm x 37.7 cm (13 5/8 in. x 14 13/16 in.)

James Gillray (London, 1757 - 1815, London) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: Europe, English
Medium and Support: Etching and aquatint with hand-coloring
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Purchase through the generosity of the Still Water Foundation, 1990
Accession Number: 1990.153

According to Greek mythology, Phaeton convinced his father Apollo to allow him to drive the chariot of the sun across the heavens. When Phaeton could not control the horses, they galloped too close to the earth and scorched its surface. In one of Gillray’s finest political allegories, Foreign Secretary George Canning, a passionate follower of former Prime Minster William Pitt, plays the role of Phaeton. His chariot drives the sun of Anti-Jacobinism through hostile constellations personified by members of the political opposition. Napoleon, straddling the Russian Bear, heads towards Western Europe while the ghosts of Pitt and Charles James Fox cower in the lower corners, watching the flames spread across the globe

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