George Cruikshank after Frederick Marryat
10 x 8
An etching in bold original colour, engraved by George Cruikshank after Frederick Marryat and published in London in 1819.
Captain Frederick Marryat is thought to have compiled the drawing upon which Cruikshank based this analytical and fascinating etching. We see a middle-aged man slumped in his armchair in front of a roaring fire. He is well attired, and his lodgings appear to be well appointed; so far, so good. Unfortunately, our protagonist is suffering from a severe headache attributed to (by Cruikshank at least) the work of the devil. Six imps are cavorting around the poor chap's chair, attacking him with various unpleasant implements; a corkscrew, a mallet and a red-hot poker are amongst the items used to torture his mind. One little demon even sits upon his shoulder bawling tuneless ballads into his ear! A phial of medicine in his hand has clearly done nothing to assuage the pain.