James Gillray (1756-1815). "Franco." In pencil in bottom margin: “Yonny Franco, a young Jew Buck, well known from the Alleys of the Stock Exchange to the alleys in St. James St.”
London: H. Humphrey, May 25th 1800. Etching. 11 ½ x 7 1/8. Top and side margins trimmed to neat lines. Else, very good condition.
James Gillray (1756-1815) was an artist and etcher known as the father of the political cartoon and renowned in his day for his satires on the era of King George III. He lived with shop owner and publisher Hannah Humphrey, displaying his art works in her shop windows.
Also known as “Large Boots,” this print depicts London merchant Jacob Franco (1762-1817), a member of a prominent Sephardic Anglo-Jewish family. Some Art critics believe the pigs running away from Franco indicate his Jewishness, others that their appearance at all indicates Franco converting from Judaism and still others that the pigs recollect Edmund Burke’s reference to the common people as “a swinish multitude.”
Other caricatures by James Gillray: