James Gillray at Tate Britain
Richard Godfrey previews the Gillray exhibition at Tate Britain this summer.
Few royal personages have been subjected to such sustained and vicious pictorial assault as the man who was known variously as Prince of Wales, Prince Regent, and finally George IV. He was the subject of hundreds of caricatures, many scurrilous and obscene, displayed in print-shop windows for all to see. Principal among his tormentors was James Gillray (1756–1815), the subject of a large exhibition of his prints and drawings opening at Tate Britain on June 6th. This is the first venture of the Tate into the clamorous world of Georgian caricatures which complement the statelier images of Reynolds or Gainsborough.