Un Diplomatique, settling affairs at Stevens's.Comte Haslang [ms in lower margin]
Etching with hand-colouring, sheet 340 x 260mm (13¼ x 10¼"). Trimmed inside platemark; slight crease.
Count Haslang sits in Stevens's, the fashionable Bond Street coffee-house, holding a wine-glass as if gesticulating in response to some person (not pictured) at whom he looks sourly. Haslang, Bavarian envoy to London, had long the subject of ridicule for both his love affairs and lack of money. Etched by James Gillray (1756-1815), caricaturist now widely regarded as the greatest of all political satirists. A celebrity in his own lifetime, Gillray's work was known and admired internationally. In the Victorian period his work was considered too vulgar and coarse; as McConnell and Heneage (DNB) write, 'a generation inclined to cover up the legs of pianos in the interests of modesty was hardly likely to welcome pictures of nude ladies dancing behind a gauze screen..., still less French fishwives thrashing the bare bottoms of nuns'. However, in the second half of the 20th century his importance has been recognized in major exhibitions and the assembling of significant collections of his work by several major institutions.
BM Satires 9067
[Ref: 39526] £480.00