The Nursery; —with, Britannia reposing in Peace

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Item Description: 

The Nursery;--with, Britannia reposing in Pease (1802) makes use of a classical personification, Britannia, painting her with infantile characteristics and connotations of sexual subjectivity to satirize the Peace of Amiens, instituted largely for financial reasons and representative more generally of the weak British response to French aggression. Caricature’s conceptualization of the national interest in this print, in that it reflects nation’s conceptualization of the powerlessness of women’s public position, suggests the extent to which Romantic culture aligned national strength with the masculine and weakness with the feminine. At the same time, its ability to bring together discrepant images and connotations highlights the conundrum inhibiting the actual observation of these competing oversimplifications.