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The Court Fright

An oil painting copy of a mid-18th century satirical print, 'The Court Fright'.

English, c. 1744
Description from Dorothy George:

Satire on British lack of preparedness for the French invasion planned in early 1744. George II is seated in an elegant room being bled by two surgeons while an ailing Britannia crouches at his side saying, "Alas I'm Weak". He appears to have thrown up in anger an "Express from [Sir John] No[rri]s" (commander of the Channel Fleet which had failed to engage with the French). The bespectacled Duke of Newcastle responds, "Forgive I'm ignorant of ye Marine", while John Carteret pulls back protesting, "And I of ye French Scheme". On the table beside the king is a pile of loyal addresses. An open doorway on the left shows the French fleet in flames, and another, on the right, shows a pedlar with a tray loaded with catholic relics on board a French ship. In the foreground are symbolic representations of the protagonists: a fox representing Cardinal Tencin attempts to mount a British lion who kicks out forcefully; English and French dogs fight over a bone labelled "The Bone of Trade gone"; a paper lettered, "Genoa on the Treaty of Worms" (a reference to the loss of Genoese territory under the treaty) lies on the ground; the lion of the United Provinces rides a Dutch hog lettered "6000 for fear of an invas[io]n" (a reference to the British claim of the assistance of 6,000 Dutch troops); the Hanoverian horse, a map of Britain draped across its back with a note indicating ships off "Lizard P[oint]", gallops over a man marked "Bankrupt". On the wall behind is a picture entitled "Promotion" showing a semi-naked woman, presumably the Countess of Yarmouth, waist-high in a pool with a dog swimming towards her.

Height: 71cm
Width: 126cm

Price: £10,800

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