Saturday, May 28, 2016

18C British Gardens - Not exactly a garden Orangerie...


I am always scouring images to find garden designs & components.  Today I came upon this engraving which seems to have little to do with a formal garden, although it does purport to be about an Orangerie as well as the "fatigues of planting."


The Orangerie; - or - the Dutch Cupid reposing after the fatigues of Planting  James Gillray, 1756-1815, engraver, Published by Hannah Humphrey, London, 1796

This British cartoon seems to be a commentary about William V, Prince of Orange, 1748-1806, who began to rule in 1766. The position of the Dutch during the American Revolution was one of neutrality; however, William V actually lead the pro-British faction within the government.  The French, led by General Charles Pichegru, ended William's reign in January 1795, when they invaded the Netherlands.  In 1795, William V fled the Netherlands for the safety of England.  James Gillray (British artist & engraver, 1756-1815) caricatured William's reported dalliances during his English exile, depicting him as an indolent Cupid with bags of money, surrounded by pregnant lovers. Here an apparently exhausted William V, Prince of Orange, rests reclining on a garden platform of grass & flowers while depending on a bag of money marked 24,000,000 ducats to maintain his position. In the foreground are a number of orange plants in pots with each orange bearing something of a genetic likeness of the prince. In the background are many seriously pregnant women, about to deliver their little orange plants,  including a milkmaid, a fishmonger, a house maid, & several farm women.


Johann Friedrich August Tischbein (1750-1812) William V, Prince of Orange-Nassau


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