Political cartoon by James Gillray entitled: ‘Fashion before Ease;—or,—A good Constitution sacrificed for a Fantastick Form’, London, Published by H. Humphrey, 1793. © Library of Congress
Fashion before Ease;—or,—A good Constitution sacrificed for a Fantastick Form’
A pair of scissors and a tape inscribed: ‘Rights of Man’.
A thatched cottage inscribed: Thomas Pain, ‘Staymaker from Thetford. Paris Modes, by express’.
[Stay maker is a maker of corsets]
- How can you identify and describe the characters: Britannia; Thomas Paine?
- What is happening in the scene?
- How does the caption help to explain the meaning of the cartoon?
- Why is Thomas Paine shown as a ‘stay maker from Thetford’?’
- Can you explain why the spelling of ‘Pain’ is used instead of ‘Paine’?
- What is the symbolism of the oak tree in the cartoon do you think?
- What does the cartoon infer about artist James Gillray’s attitude towards Thomas Paine and his work?
- Where or how would people have seen this image?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of using visual evidence like this cartoon?