James Gillray

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gillray, James


Born Aug. 13, 1757, in Chelsea, now a municipal district of London; died June 1, 1815, in London. English graphic artist and engraver.

Gillray studied at the London Academy of Arts. Developing the satirical motifs of W. Hogarth’s work, Gillray, along with other English graphic artists of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, transformed caricature into an independent artistic genre. He is especially well known for his political caricatures, executed in a rather coarse and grotesque manner and with gaudy colors, in which he ’ridiculed the royal family, the aristocracy, the ministers, and Napoleon I. His etchings included New Method of Paying National Debts (1786) and The King of Brobdingnag and Gulliver (1803-04).


Nekrasova, E. Ocherki po istorii angliiskoi karikatury kontsa 18 i nachala 19 vekov. [Leningrad] 1935.
Hill, D. Mr. Gillray the Caricaturist. London, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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(In which case, Saul and Kelley mig ht be seen as the Thomas Rowlandson and James Gilray of their era.)
Low, described by Stanley Baldwin as an evil genius, was without doubt the most important political cartoonist since James Gilray and his work coincided with one of the most tumultuous periods in British history.