"James Gillray (1756-1815) was the leading caricaturist of the late eighteenth century, and an artist of outstanding inventiveness and originality whose work continues to influence cartoons today. He lived through a traumatic period in British and European history, and his art provides some of the most memorable images of the French Revolution, the Napoleonic wars and the raging political scene of the time, as well as penetrating charcterisations of famous individuals including George III and Queen Charlotte, Napoleon, Emma Hamilton, William Pitt and Charles Fox. Gillray also brilliantly ridiculed the pretensions and foibles of contemporary society, a world of fashionable excess and sexual intrigue, corruption and royal scandals. Although firmly grounded in the realities of his time, the wit and robust vulgarity of Gillray's images remains engaging, even shocking." "Illustrating the full range of Gillray's social, political and personal satires, this catalogue shows the sophistication and diversity of his art, demonstarting that Gillray was not only the greatest satirical artist of his time, but also one of the very greatest of printmakers and draughtsmen. In the introductory essays, Richard Godfrey gives an overview of Gillray's art and life, and Mark Hallett examines his language of graphic satire in the context of the vigorous print market of the eighteenth century. The historical and artistic background to Gillray's work is fully examined, and his place within European Romanticism is explored through the discussion of works by artists known to have admired and copied him, including Goya and David."--BOOK JACKET.