The Prince of Whales or the Fishernman at Anchor
London, M. Jones May 1st. 1812, The Scourge
Original hand colouring
222 x 532 mm
Traces of old folds as issued.
This light-hearted marine triumph casts George, Prince of Wales as a sea monster distracted by pleasure. In January 1812 the prince had officially become Regent and Cruikshank emphasizes his fleshly self-indulgence and weakness for mistresses and flatterers. When he became Regent, the prince surprised his former Whig friends by retaining the Tory Spencer Perceval as chief minister. Perceval, the fisherman of the title, stands in a small boat holding his prize fast on a golden chain while being showered by the "Dew of Favor." The disgruntled Whigs at left receive only "the Liquor of Oblivion." Clearly bored with politics, the Regent eyes a buxom mermaid, his most recent mistress Isabella, Marchioness of Hertford. He ignores both her scowling merman husband, and a second mermaid, his former mistress Maria Fitzherbert. The background colonnade represents Carlton House, the prince’s palatial home on Pall Mall.