Welcome to James Gillray: Caricaturist

James Gillray. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery
James Gillray
© National Portrait Gallery, London


James Gillray (1756-1815) was one of the greatest caricaturist of the 18th century. From around 1775 until 1810, he produced nearly 1000 prints—including brilliantly finished portrait caricatures of the rich, famous, or frivolous, wonderfully comic caricatures of people being awkward, and unquestionably the best satiric caricatures of British political and social life in the age of Napoleon. His preeminence in graphic satire, especially in the 1790s made him both sought after and feared. No sooner did a new Gillray print appear than it was sure to be plagiarized or imitated by contemporaries both in England and abroad. And even today, there are few political cartoonist who would not admit to some debt to Gillray's work.

This site includes a chronological catalogue of Gillray's known prints, a list of major museums and archives where his work can be seen, information about him and his working methods and techniques, and links to short biographical sketches of some of the people he caricatured.

Though it is launching on the 200th anniversary of Gillray's death on June 1, 1815, this site is intended as a celebration of his life and works.

NEXT: Early Life

The banner for this site includes a detail from Gillray's Union Club, © National Portrait Gallery, London