All the talents / Polypus designavit ; Rowlandson sculp.

Image not available
Thomas Rowlandson
All the talents / Polypus designavit ; Rowlandson sculp.
Peel 1920
Formerly owned by Sir Robert Peel.

Lettered with title followed by line from Virgil (Aeniad, III, 658): "Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum", and production detail: "Polypus designavit. / Rowlandson sculp. / Pub. April 18th. 1807 by I. I. Stockdale Pall Mall."


Frontispiece to 'All the Talents', 18th edition, satirical verses by 'Polypus', i.e. E. S. Barrett, attacking the late Ministry. The print (Hogarthian in manner) has little relation to the verses, and is probably adapted from an earlier satire, perhaps on Bute. A creature with the body of a man and the face of an ape, with a tail, tramples on burning papers. It wears spectacles, a large wig, bands, old-fashioned laced coat (with a star), and tattered breeches. On one foot is a shoe; the left. leg is in a large jack-boot (? originally an emblem of Bute). In the r. hand is a crozier with which he pulls down two books from a shelf: 'Magna Charter' and 'Coronation Oath'. Behind him a musket inscribed 'Army', the barrel pointing upwards, is firing a blast at the falling books. His left hand rests on a book or ledger, open on a book-stand, in which he writes with the feathered end of his pen. The page is headed 'Finance'; from the book hangs a paper: 'Country Dances'. The burning papers are inscribed 'Negotiation' [bis], 'Sinecures'. He is smoking a pipe from which thick clouds of smoke rise and obscure a profile bust portrait of Pitt. Below the design: 'Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum.' [Virgil, 'Aeneid', iii. 658.] 18 April 1807

Artist page: