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To mark the 200th anniversary of his death, an exhibition of political caricatures by James Gillray and other cartoonists who have been inspired by him.

Known as 'the father of the political cartoon', James Gillray was a brilliant satirist who used his work to call the king, prime ministers and high-ranking generals to account.

Born in Chelsea in west London, Gillray started out as a letter-engraver before being admitted as a student in the Royal Academy. He continued engraving in order to support himself while studying, producing caricatures under fictitious names. These works enjoyed huge success – crowds would gather to examine them from his publisher's shop window – and it is now thought as many as 1700 caricatures can be attributed to him.

Many of his harshest satires are directed against George III, who, after examining some of Gillray's sketches, was reported to have said 'I don't understand these caricatures'. Gillray responded with a new drawing in which he mocked the king's pretensions to be a connoisseur of art.

Cartoon Museum

55 Wells Street, London, Greater London, W1A 3AE

020 7580 8155


Opening times

Tues – Sun, 10.30am – 5.30pm

Closed Mondays but open Bank Holiday Mondays

Closed 25 Dec – 2 Jan

Open on Mondays during Easter and Half-term.

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