'The Disolution' or 'The Alchymist producing an aetherial Representation', 1796.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Coloured etching by James Gillray showing prime minister William Pitt (1759-1806) using a pair of bellows in the shape of a crown to heat a glas distillation vesel containing an image of parliament. In the steam isuing from the vesel, we see Pitt as 'Perpetual Dictator', with his subjects prostrating themselves before him. Gold coins pour out of a coal scuttle next to the furnace. After studying art at the Royal Academy in London, Gillray became well known as an engraver, producing over 1500 satires of social subjects and caricatures of famous political figures, notably, given his Conservative leanings, the Whigs. Published by Hannah Humphrey of St James Street, London. Dimensions: 400 mm x 300 mm.