Hubert François Gravelot

The Devil Upon Two Sticks

1741

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Hubert François Gravelot 1699–1773
Medium
Ink, chalk and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 268 x 309 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
Reference
T08921

Display caption

This is Gravelot's drawing for an engraving published in 1741, satirising the General Election. The principal figure is the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. He is carried across a stinking quagmire by his
political allies.

 

To the left are MPs who have voted for an excise scheme. They have waded through the mire, and are now trying to clean themselves. In the background, to the right, two politicians are busy canvassing electors. One offers a cap of liberty, while the other bribes them with money stolen from the pocket of Britannia, who stands beside him weeping.

 

Gallery label, September 2004