British School 18th century

Caricature of Charles James Fox

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
British School 18th century 1700–1799
Ink and watercolour on paper
Support: 281 × 234 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

This is a caricature by an unknown artist
of the politician Charles James Fox. Fox was famous equally for his formidable debating powers and his dissolute lifestyle. He was one of the most caricatured figures in eighteenth-century public life.


By the early 1780s he was a leading
light in the Whig Party, which then
stood in opposition to the Court Party.
He is shown here wearing the trademark buff and blue colours of the Whigs. In his hand he waves a bill which, according
to the drawing's Latin inscription, amounts to little more than empty rhetoric.

Gallery label, September 2004

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