Sir David Low Look Out, Brutus! Caesar is Going to Unseal his Lips! 1936

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Artwork details

Artist
Sir David Low 1891–1963
Title
Look Out, Brutus! Caesar is Going to Unseal his Lips!
Date 1936
Medium Ink and chalk on paper
Dimensions Support: 368 x 552 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by the artist 1946
Reference
N05670
Not on display

Catalogue entry

N05670 LOOK OUT, BRUTUS! CAESAR IS GOING TO UNSEAL HIS LIPS! 1936
 
Inscr. ‘Low’ b.r. and with title b.c.
Indian ink and blue chalk, 14 1/2×21 3/4 (36×55·5).
Presented by the artist 1946.
Exh: London Gallery, May–June 1937 (77).

Published in the Evening Standard, 13 May 1936. The cartoon represents Stanley Baldwin, the Prime Minister, ‘torn by a wish to lose neither the favour of the pacificist masses, nor the chance one day to begin a programme of rearmament. Baldwin could not bring himself to trust the people with the full facts of the national position. “My lips are sealed,” he said. Whereupon I labelled him OLD SEALED LIPS and drew him regularly with gum-tape across his mouth. The nickname spread and I heard that his staff used it at Downing Street.’ (Low, Autobiography, 1956, pp.255–6.)

This cartoon represents an occasion when, harried by the critics depicted in the cartoon, Baldwin threatened to speak plainly to a Conservative Conference. To the left of Baldwin are seen Sir Austen Chamberlain and Neville Chamberlain, to the right Winston Churchill, Sir Robert Horne, Sir Samuel Hoare, an unidentified type and Leo Amery; behind on the right are ‘Colonel Blimp’ and the artist; in the foreground Lord Beaverbrook. (Letters from the artist, 6 February 1956 and 26 March 1961.)

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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