Monstrosities of 1822.
14 x 10 inches
A hand-coloured etching by George Cruikshank, published in London in 1822.
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.