Critiquing the French: The Satirical Monuments of James Gillray and George Cruikshank
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In eighteenth-century England, general anxieties towards the unchecked and excessive British power and authority were caricaturized in images depicting France and its people. Extensive literature has been published on the representations of French individuals and symbols in satirical prints, yet scholars have neglected the role of monuments in satirical imagery. This thesis looks at James Gillray’s Siege de la Colonne de Pompée—Science in the Pillory (1799) and Design for Naval Pillar (1800) and George Cruikshank’s A view of the grand triumphal pillar (1801) to unveil how British printmakers utilized satirical monuments to warn viewers of both Napoléon Bonaparte’s threat to the European continent and the harmful actions of their own British governmental figures. The role of monument culture, victory culture, nationalism and print distribution is also analyzed to highlight the affect of these prints on the British, and larger European, publics.