The Invasion, plate 1: France, 1756
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
RA Collection: Art
The outbreak of the Seven Years' War in 1756 and the simultaneous movements of French troops to the ports of Le Havre and Brest raised fears of a French invasion of Britain. In response to this prospect William Hogarth etched a pair of plates on this topic, The Invasion. This first plate shows French troops preparing to embark for England. In the foreground a monk surveys a sledge filled with torture implements (playing on widespread British fears of popery and the Inquisition). The soldiers behind are ragged and starving. Many aspects of this print, including the satire on Catholicism and the general underfeeding of the French population, were present in Hogarth's earlier anti-French satire The Gate of Calais (17/3546).
The pendant (17/3937) shows British troops and is set outside an inn.
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