A Tub for the Whale!

A work made of hand-colored etching and aquatint on cream wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of hand-colored etching and aquatint on cream wove paper.

Date:

published March 14, 1806

Artist:

James Gillray (English, 1756-1815)
published by Hannah Humphrey (English, c. 1745-1818)

About this artwork

James Gillray’s political satires often included biblical and nautical references. This etching bears a lengthy secondary title, which may have clarified the subject matter for contemporaries: “Representing an Empty-Barrel tossed out to amuse the great Leviathan John-Bull, in order to divert him from instantly laying violent hands upon the new Coalition Packet.” The monstrous whale with “John Bull” horns symbolizes the British nation (as personified by the heroic and comedic archetype, John Bull), who attacks a packet boat steered by an unpopular new political group.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

James Gillray

Title

A Tub for the Whale!

Origin

England

Date

1806

Medium

Hand-colored etching and aquatint on cream wove paper

Dimensions

232 × 350 mm (image); 245 × 354 mm (plate); 258 × 375 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Gift of Thomas F. Furness in memory of William McCallin McKee

Reference Number

1928.713

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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