Britannia between Scylla and Charybdis, or, The vessel of the Constitution steered clear of the Rock of Democracy and the Whirlpool of Arbitrary-Power [graphic] / Js. Gy. desn. et fect. pro bono publico.

Pubd. April 8th, 1793 by H. Humphrey, N. 18 Old Bond Street
[8 April 1793]
Physical Description:
1 print : etching on wove paper, hand-colored ; sheet 31 x 38 cm
Title etched below image.
Caption below image, under the heads of Priestley, Fox and Sheridan: Sharks, dogs of Scylla.
Sheet trimmed within plate mark on lower edge.
Temporary local subject terms: Flags: union pennant -- Constitution as a boat -- Boats -- Cap of liberty as bonnet rouge -- Allusion to the French Revolution -- Crowns: royal crown inverted as a whirlpool -- Cap of Liberty -- Symbols: tricolor cockades -- Allusion to Scylla abd Charybdis (Greek mythology) -- Literature: George Canning, 1770-1827, The Pilot that Weathered the Storm -- Waves -- Fortresses.
Peter Murray Hill. Chelsea, London; October 1958; Acquisitions no.: 958-10-1.
"Pitt steers a small boat, 'The Constitution', with a single sail, a Union pennant flying from the mast, through huge waves between a high rock (left) and a whirlpool whose circumference is an inverted crown which merges in the swirling water. He is in profile to the right, gazing fixedly at a castle on a promontory (right) among still waters, which flies a flag inscribed 'Haven of Public Happiness'. Britannia, a buxom young woman, sits in the boat, her hands raised in alarm, her head turned towards the rock, on the summit of which is a large bonnet-rouge with a tricolour cockade on a post within a ramshackle fence. Spray dashes against Scylla; beside the rock and in the foreground (left) three sharks with human heads closely pursue Pitt's boat: Sheridan, Fox, and Priestley (good profile portraits), their eyes fixed menacingly on the boat. They are: 'Sharks'; 'Dogs of Scylla'."--British Museum online catalogue.
Variant Titles:
Vessel of the Constitution steered clear of the Rock of Democracy and the Whirlpool of Arbitrary Power
Associated Names:
Gillray, James, 1756-1815 [Printmaker]
Humphrey, Hannah, active 1774-1817 [Publisher]
Auchincloss, Hugh Dudley
Britannia (Symbolic character)
Fox, Charles James, 1749-1806
Harvey, Francis
Pitt, William, 1759-1806
Priestley, Joseph, 1733-1804
Riviere & Son
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 1751-1816
Etchings -- England -- London -- 1793
Satires (Visual works) -- England -- 1793
Content Type:
Prints & Photographs
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