Gillray, James

1851

End of the Irish Invasion

End of the Irish Invasion; – or – The Destruction of the French Armada.

DESCRIPTION: Re-strike satirical copperplate engraving from the original plate by one of England's finest 18th century artists and satirists, James Gillray. This engraving by James Gillray reflects the fear of invasion from France at the end of the 18th century, just a few years after the French revolution. The prospect of invasion by sea has threatened the British Isles several times beginning in Roman times, notably during the "Invincible Armada" sent by Spain in 1588.

The New York Public Library website explains the plate: "From the beginning of the conflict with France, the British feared a French invasion. In October 1796, the King warned against such a threat, which was dismissed by the Opposition as a fantasy. However, on December 15, 1796, a French force of 15,000 troops with an armada of ships, led by General Lazare Hoche, sailed from Brest and anchored in Bantry Bay off southern Ireland, assuming that their invasion would prompt a popular uprising against the British. Like the Spanish Armada two hundred years before, this plan was undone primarily by stormy weather. The winds in Gillray’s version emanate from (left to right) the mouths of Prime Minister Pitt, Secretary of War Henry Dundas, Foreign Secretary William Wyndham Grenville, and War Minister William Windham. One ship, Le Révolutionare with a Fox figurehead, is tossed by wind and waves, the L’Egalité is swamped, and the Whigs aboard The Revolutionary Jolly Boat appear doomed."
Source: New York Public Library. Print Collection. No. 49.

Originally published in 1797 by Hannah Humphrey this plate is from the Henry Bohn restrikes printed from the original plates during 1845 to 1851. Printed on both sides of heavy wove paper, the other side contains another fine engraving by Gillray titled "The Lion's Share".

CREATOR: Gillray, James

PUBLICATION DATE: 1851

GEOGRAPHIC AREA: United Kingdom

BODY OF WATER: N/A

CONDITION: Very good  Aquatint and etching. Strong impression and platemark.

COLORING: None

ENGRAVER: Gillray

SIZE: 15 " x 10 "

ITEM PHYSICAL LOCATION: 9

PRICE: $195


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