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Evacuation of Malta


Using scatological imagery (a favorite theme of Gillrays, and of many other satirists), Gillray makes a visual pun on the word "evacuation." Here, Addington is forced to squat, bare bottomed, over a hat into which he evacuates "Egypt," "Malta," "The Cape of Good Hope," "Guadeloupe," and "Martinique." Standing in front of Addington, Napoleon grasps Addington's necktie and threatens him with his raised sword. A French officer (Andréossi?) reaches into the frame to hold a black hat under Addington's bared bottom. According to George, Addington's pleas and fear of "getting turned out" reflect the English reluctance to evacuate Malta. Also within this speech, Addington expressed his fear that he may not be able to provide for his large family if turned out; this is a comment on his nepotism. Napoleon is represented as "Little Boney." His features are deeply shadowed and ragged, matched by the sharp and angular lines of his ornate uniform. Addington is likewise rendered as an angular figure, yet compared to Napoleon and to the French officer, he is a giant. This feature adds to the comedy of his subjugation to Napoleon's treatment. The method of engraving is one that bears mentioning here. In addition to making smooth incisions, Gillray has chosen to use a tool that makes soft, pebbled lines resembling aquatint. This technique approximates the appearance soft ground etching, or of chalk drawings. Moreover, the coloring process, which pays specific attention to creases and shadows, contributes to the sense that this engraving is taking after watercolor sketches or drawings in colored chalk.
Published by H. Humphrey, St. James Street, 9 February, 1803. Although this print is not signed by Gillray, it is securely attributed to his hand.
Caption: Pubd. Feb. 9th 1803 by H. Humphrey St James Street
Dialogue: Napoleon: "All!-All!-you Jean F_t_e!!--and think yourself well off that I leave you Great Britain!!!"
Dialogue: Addington: "Pray do not insist upon Malta! I shall certainly be turned out! and I have got a great many Cousins, and Uncles & Aunts to provide for yet!"
Dialogue: French Officer: "My General you had better not get him turned out-for we shall not be able to humbug them anymore."

Access Conditions

No Copyright - United States
Restrictions on Use
Collection is open for research.


"Evacuation of Malta" (1803). Prints, Drawings and Watercolors from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Napoleonic Satires. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



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