The Pall Mall Apollo, or r-ty in a blaze!!!
London, M. Jones March 1st .1816, The Scourge
Etching and aquatint
Original hand colouring
215 x 485 mm
Traces of old folds as issued.
The Regent is Apollo, with his hair on fire; he drops his lyre, terrified, while McMahon as Mercury stands on a table to pour the contents of a big chamberpot over his flaming head. The Regent is naked except for scanty drapery and Roman sandals. McMahon, smaller in scale than the Regent, wears his ordinary dress with top-boots, but with wings attached to shoulders and boots, and wearing a winged cap. He has dropped a caduceus from which flames emerge. On the left are two life-size and realistic statues on pedestals: the Belvedere Apollo, in profile to the right, faces the Regent as if to challenge comparison with his ungainly bulk and agitated movements. On the extreme left the stout Lady Hertford, in back view, holds up a lorgnette to gaze at the Venus de’ Medici, saying, "Well, I think I may compare notes with her!" She wears a scanty gown, revealing bare shoulders and legs, with Roman sandals. On her head is a small crown. There is a dark background with heavy clouds to the left and centre of the design. On the right of the table on which McMahon stands crouches a man (? Castlereagh) wearing a long frogged and braided overcoat, registering consternation, his hair on end. Beside him is the royal footstool, decorated with the Prince’s feathers, kicked away and overturned by the Regent. On the extreme right, at some distance from the Regent, sits Brougham as Hercules, in profile to the left, resting his hands on his club. He is naked except for a lion’s skin draped round him, the head resting on his barrister’s wig. He gazes with a reflective scowl at the conflagration. A scene in a small theatre forms a background to the right part of the design. A fat Neptune (probably the Duke of Clarence) holding a trident, seated in a large floating chamber-pot (emblem of Mrs. Jordan), is drawn by a calf whose head and tail appear above the water. On a distant shore (right) a winged and naked man, wearing a ribbon, gleefully takes the hand of a man who runs up, also naked, who has stag’s antlers and a sack on his back. Suspended above the sea is a large hammock-shaped cloth decorated with sun, moon, and stars. A ladder leans against its left end: a pretty almost naked woman is about to step from it into the hammock, helped by a naked satyr, resembling the Regent, and holding a bottle. Just below her on the ladder is a Cupid (? Prince Leopold, see No. 12748, &c.) with bow and arrows, youthful except for a hint of whisker, and naked except for knee-breeches. In the centre of the hammock is a large punch-bowl, at which presides a thin woman (? Queen Charlotte), crowned and holding a ladle. On the right of the bowl are Eldon, crowned and with a trident, Ellenborough fiercely holding out a sheaf of thunderbolts, with (?) Wellington on the extreme right holding a baton. There are other subordinate figures, including three women behind the punch-bowl and a man with antlers, holding a hammer against his shoulders. They seem to be the Regent and Ministers, &c., represented as gods: Silenus, Neptune, Jupiter, Mars, and Vulcan.