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The Plumb-Pudding in Danger – or – State Epicures Taking un Petit Souper

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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This is probably Gillray's most famous print. It achieves its impact through the simplicity of its design and the brilliant economy with which Gillray captures the political situation. Napoleon Bonaparte and William Pitt face each other across a steaming 'plum-pudding' globe, both intent on carving themselves a substantial portion of the world. Pitt appears calm, meticulous and confident, spearing the pudding with a trident indicative of British naval supremacy. He lays claim to the oceans and the West Indies. In contrast, Napoleon reaches from his chair with covetous, twitching eyes fixed on the prize of Europe and cuts away France, Holland, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and the Mediterranean.

National Portrait Gallery, London

London

Title

The Plumb-Pudding in Danger – or – State Epicures Taking un Petit Souper

Date

1805

Medium

hand-coloured etching on paper

Measurements

H 26.1 x W 36.2 cm

Accession number

D12840

Acquisition method

purchased, 1947

Work type

Print

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National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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