La belle assemblée, or, Sketches of characteristic dancing [graphic] / G. Cruikshank invt. & sculpt.

Pubd. August 31st, 1817, by S.W. Fores, 50 Piccadilly
[31 August 1817]
Physical Description:
1 print : etching on wove paper, hand-colored, ; plate mark 20.6 x 56.3 cm, on sheet 23 x 59 cm.
Title from caption below image.
Leverhulme-Auchincloss, vol. xv, p. 63-64.
Watermark: John Hall 1814.
"Eight groups or couples display different dances, the names of which are in the lower margin. On the extreme left stands [1] a 'Dancing Master', thin, dandified, stooping, arms dropped, fiddle and bow in left hand, feet turned out. [2] 'Country Dance'. Three couples, 'hands across'. [3] 'Scots Reel' A man in Highland dress dances between two women in a six-hand reel. [4] 'Irish Jig'. Three bandy-legged peasants jig: man (holding up a 'Whiskey' bottle), woman, and small boy who drinks from a glass and holds a large shillelagh. [5] The centre-piece: 'La Minuet'. A very slim man in court-dress, with powdered queue, dances with a lady who holds up the train of a limp gown. Behind them is the musicians' gallery supported on two palm-tree pillars, round which serpents are twined from whose mouths gas-flames issue. A life-like 'Terpsichore' supports the drapery of the box, which is inscribed 'On the light fantastic toe'. The front of the box is decorated with fantastic dancing figures, including a Red Indian, a Harlequin, a Punch; some are in lines and dots (cf. No. 12955). The instruments are flutes, bagpipes, harp, violins, 'cello, oboe, French horn. On the right: [6] 'German Waltz', an ugly couple, her hands on his shoulders, his on her waist. [7] 'French Quadrille'. One man and three ladies face three men and one lady. [8] 'Spanish Boliero'. A couple dance, clicking castanets, the man wears slashed doublet with knee-breeches. [9] 'Ballet Italienne'. Two dancers, each poised on a toe, leg extended, holding between them a long garland of roses. Beside them dances a little Italian greyhound. The wall which forms a background is covered with pictures, flanking the gallery. 'Dancing Dogs': a man with a whip directs five dressed-up dogs on their hind-legs. 'Dancing Bear'. A man holds the muzzled bear on a chain; a dressed-up monkey capers on the bear's head; a boy plays pipe and tabor. 'Dancing Horse'. On the stage of an equestrian theatre a man in light horse uniform, a clown behind him, directs the movements of a horse. 'Rope Dancing'. A woman ascends a slanting tight-rope, while rockets explode around her. 'St Vitus's Dance'. A fat doctor, smelling his cane, holds the pulse of a capering and emaciated invalid. 'Dancing Mad'. Two men leap or prance frantically in rage or despair, while a third capers at the end of a rope by which he hangs from a gibbet."--British Museum online catalogue.
Variant Titles:
Sketches of characteristic dancing
Associated Names:
Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878 [Printmaker]
Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878 [Artist]
Fores, S. W. [Publisher]
Balls (Parties)
Musical instruments
Trained animals
Etchings -- England -- London -- 1817
Satires (Visual works) -- England -- 1817
Watermarks (Paper)
Content Type:
Prints & Photographs
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Yale Collection:
Lewis Walpole Library
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Lewis Walpole Library
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