Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Cruikshank Caricature Monstrosities

George Cruikshank.

Monstrosities of 1822.

14 x 10 inches

The scene is set in London's achingly fashionable Hyde Park in the south-eastern corner where a huge statue of a naked Achilles has just been erected. Achilles was officially unveiled on the 18th of June 1822 (Waterloo Day) and is a celebration and veneration of the Duke of Wellington and his magnificent military achievements. Originally naked, a strategic fig leaf was rapidly applied after public outrage deemed it unsuitable for public viewing! The statue towers above the scene at 18 feet high and is made from 33 tonnes of bronze, melted down from the French cannons captured by the Iron Duke himself. It was the first statue to be built in the park and, as such, caused great excitement.

In the foreground two Dandies parade past the statue in exaggerated dress leering at two fashionable ladies who approach from the opposite direction. In the background crowds eagerly gather around Achilles to marvel at the sheer masculinity of his physique whilst pretending to read the inscriptions upon the plinth. In the summer of 1822 this was clearly the most popular place to see and be seen!


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