[Obese Oriental and a Macaroni.]
Soft ground etching, 220 x 250mm (8¾ x 9¾"). Glue residue visible at corners.
Etching from a lost drawing by John Hamilton Mortimer, satirising the impact of imperial expansion and continental travel on notions of British identity. David H. Solkin writes of the print: "Although the figure on the left may have Oriental features, he plays the part of an English nabob, bloated with Indian wealth and struggling home with his ill-gotten spoil; he is also bringing back the poison of luxury, whose pernicious effects are plain to see in the pathetic excuse for British manhood who stands on the opposite side [...] "What is England now?" Horace Walpole lamented to Horace Mann in 1773: "A sink of Indian wealth, filled by nabobs and emptied by Macaronis!"' Catalogued by John Sunderland as 'man carrying his stomach in a wheelbarrow'.
David H. Solkin, ''Conquest, usurpation, wealth, luxury, famine': Mortimer’s banditti and the anxieties of empire’ in Tim Barringer,Geoff Quilley and Douglas Fordhm (eds.), 'Art and the British Empire
[Ref: 19633] £180.00