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James Gillray
James Gillray
Born 13 August 1756 or 1757
Chelsea, London, England, United Kingdom
Died 1 June 1815 (aged 57 or 58)
London, England, United Kingdom
Nationality English
Occupation Caricaturist, printmaker

James Gillray (13 August 1756 or 1757 – 1 June 1815) was a British caricaturist and printmaker famous for his etched political and social satires, mainly published between 1792 and 1810.

Gillray has been called "the father of the political cartoon", with his works targeted at George III, prime ministers and generals. Regarded as being one of the most influential cartoonists, Gillray's wit and humour, knowledge of life, keen sense of the humorous, gave him the first place among caricaturists.

The Loss of the Faro Bank James Gillray 1797
The loss of the faro bank (1797)

Gillray's caricatures are generally divided into two classes, the political series and the social. The political caricatures comprise an important and invaluable component of the history of the latter part of the reign of George III. They were circulated not only in Britain but also throughout Europe, and exerted a powerful influence both in Britain and abroad.


Auction prices for Gillray's work have increased since the 1970s. At the auction of the Draper Hill Collection at Phillips auctioneers in London in 2001, several key prints sold for more than US$10,000. Since 2002, annual auctions of Caricatures at Bonhams in London, each of which included large selections of Gillray prints, have continued this trend. One painting sold in 2006 for over US$9,000, while another sold in the same year for over US$20,000.

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