You have no items in your shopping cart.

Subtotal: $0.00

COGNOCENTI contemplating Beauties Etching James Gillray

A COGNOCENTI contemplating ye Beauties of ye Antique.


Availability: In stock

Original antique print


Originally published by Hannah Humphrey in 1801, this impression is from Henry Bohn's folio of Gillray's etchings - note the plate is numbered top right and the reverse also has another Gillray etching on it. Gillray shows connoisseur, archaeologist, and diplomat Sir William Hamilton surrounded by works of art that refer to the well-known affair between his wife, Lady Emma Hamilton, and the naval hero Horatio Nelson. Hamilton studies a damaged bust of Lais, the beautiful mistress of the classical philosopher Aristippus of Cyrene, which here represents Lady Hamilton. Framed pictures on the wall reinforce the theme of adultery. Lady Hamilton as Cleopatra offers a glass of gin to an adjacent picture of Marc Antony, who resembles Nelson. Hamilton as the Roman emperor Claudius, who was betrayed by his wife, is framed under a cuckold's antlers. A picture of an erupting volcano refers to Hamilton's research on earthquakes and volcanoes, which he published in several treatises between 1772 and 1783, including Observations on Mount Vesuvius.

Additional Information

artist James Gillray (1756-1815)
method Etching
date 1851 (originally 1801)
size 365mm by 260mm (platemark)
SKU CL3915