London: H. Humphrey, 1800. Item #03500
Napoleon's Abandonment of General Duga in Egypt
James Gillray's Satirical Representation of an Event
Which Changed the Face of Events in France and Throughout Europe
GILLRAY, James. Buonaparté Leaving Egypt. For an Illustration of the above, see Intercepted Letters from the Republican General Kleber, to the French Directory respecting the Courage, Honor, & Patriotic-Views, of "the Deserter of the Army of Egypt". Published March 8th 1800 - by H. Humphrey. No. 27. St. James's Street, London.
Hand colored etching (14 1/8 x 10 1/16 inches; 358 x 250 mm.). A few small fox marks at top, otherwise near fine. Matted.
A satirical representation of an event which changed the face of events in France and throughout Europe. The designation of "The Deserter of the Army of Egypt," here applied to the hero of Egypt was echoed by many of his countrymen. (Wright & Evans, p. 194).
Caricaturist and engraver James Gillray (1757-1815) “was apprenticed to a letter engraver and worked under classical engravers such as Ryland and Bartolozzi in stipple. He trained at the R.A. Schools and did some book illustrations for Macklin’s Tom Jones before turning to caricature in about 1780. His earlier works were published by the printseller Robert Wilkinson of Cornhill, forsaking him for Fores in about 1787. Gillray finally came to rest as chief caricaturist to Mrs. Humphrey at New and Old Bond Street, where he lodged till his death. Gillray was the first professional caricaturist in this country, he simplified the art of the amateurs by replacing archaic symbols with forceful design and his art training enabled him to work on a more heroic scale than his predecessors. His work hit very hard and as the artist was something of a political maverick, he was assiduously courted by all parties. His frequent satires on Royal extravagance such as ‘A Voluptuary under the horrors of Digestion’ 1792 and the caricatures of Napoleon and Charles James Fox, created in their realism and savagery a whole new field for the caricaturist. Although much of his work dates from before 1800, a group of marvellous caricatures appeared in the early 1800s including ‘Tiddy-Doll, the great French-Gingerbread Baker’, 1806, ‘Uncorking Old Sherry’, 1805, ‘The Plum-pudding in danger’, 1805 and most famous of all ‘The King of Brobdingnag and Gulliver’, 1803. Gillray’s last work was engraved in 1811 shortly before he became insane; his position was taken by the young George Cruikshank” (Houfe).
Wright & Evans, James Gillray, #254.