[Delicious Weather, & c.]. [Six Caricatures Relating to Weather]
by GILLRAY, James |
1808. first edition. James Gillray's 'Weather' SeriesSatire, Society, Gross Humor and Excess GILLRAY, James. [Delicious Weather, & c.]. London: H. Humphrey, Feb. 10th, 1808.Six (of seven) fine caricatures illustrating the vagaries of the British weather.Lacking the fifth print 'Fine Bracing Weather' (#557). Small folio (average size 10 x 8 inches; 253 x 203 mm.). Each protected in a window mount. Chemised in a quarter black morocco clamshell case. Very fine and exceptionally rare.Delicious Weather (#553)Dreadful Hot Weather (#554) Sad Sloppy Weather (#555)Raw Weather (#556)Windy Weather (#558)Very Slippy Weather (#559)According to OCLC there is just one complete set in institutions worldwide (Harvard University, Houghton Library, MA). There are single plates at the following institutions: "Delicious Weather", "Dreadful Hot Weather", "Sad Sloppy Weather", "Windy Weather" and "Fine Bracing Weather" (Yale Univ. Lib, CT). "Raw Weather" (Morgan Library and Museum, NY); "Very Slippy Weather" (Morgan Library and Museum, NY) and (Library of Congress, DC).James Gillray (1756 or 1757 - 1815), was a British caricaturist and printmaker famous for his etched political and social satires, mainly published between 1792 and 1810. The name of Gillray's publisher and print seller, Miss Hannah Humphrey is inextricably associated with that of the caricaturist. Gillray lived with Miss (often called Mrs) Humphrey during the entire period of his fame. It is believed that he several times thought of marrying her, and that on one occasion the pair were on their way to the church, when Gillray said: "This is a foolish affair, methinks, Miss Humphrey. We live very comfortably together; we had better let well alone." Gillray has been called the father of the political cartoon, with his satirical works calling the king, prime ministers and generals to account. Regarded as being one of the two most influential cartoonists, the other being William Hogarth, Gillray's wit and humour, knowledge of life, fertility of resource, keen sense of the ludicrous, and beauty of execution, at once gave him the first place among caricaturists.One of Gillray's prints, "Twopenny Whist," is a depiction of four individuals playing cards, and the character shown second from the left, an ageing lady with eyeglasses and a bonnet, is widely believed to be an accurate depiction of Miss Humphrey.Gillray's prints were exposed in Humphrey's shop window, where eager crowds examined them. One of his later prints, "Very Slippy-Weather", shows Miss Humphrey's shop in St. James's Street in the background. In the shop window a number of Gillray's previously published prints, such as Tiddy-Doll the Great French Gingerbread Maker, Drawing Out a New Batch of Kings; His Man, Talley Mixing up the Dough, a satire on Napoleon's king-making proclivities, are shown in the shop window. While many of Gillrays prints evolved from his own designs, still others were based on the suggestions of amateurs (prints commissioned after others designs were an important source of income for Gillray). This print was one of a series of seven on the weather initiated by Gillrays friend, the Reverend John Sneyd. Sneyd often provided ideas and sketches for the artists elaboration, and was, as well, an intermediary between Gillray and George Canning from the time Canning entered Parliament, in service to the Tory cause. Gillray distinguishes his role by inscribing etchd by Js. Gillray, rather than crediting himself as inventor.While many of Gillrays prints evolved from his own designs, still others were based on the suggestions of amateurs (prints commissioned after others designs were an important source of income for Gillray). This print was one of a series of seven on the weather initiated by Gillrays friend, the Reverend John Sneyd. Sneyd often provided ideas and sketches for the artists elaboration, and was, as well, an intermediary between Gillray and George Canning from the time Canning entered Parliament, in service to the Tory cause. Gillray distinguishes his role by inscribing etchd by Js. Gillray, rather than crediting himself as inventor.His last work, from a design by Bunbury, is entitled Interior of a Barber's Shop in Assize Time, and is dated 1811. While he was engaged on it he became mad, although he had occasional intervals of sanity, which he employed on his last work. The approach of madness may have been hastened by his intemperate habits. Gillray died on 1 June 1815 in London, and was buried in St James's churchyard, Piccadilly.Wright & Evans numbers 553-559. (Inventory #: 03498)
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