St. George & the dragon & Madlle. riposting

by Isaac Cruikshank

Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University Library, 789.10.12.01+

"A boxing scene (two couples): the Prince of Wales and Hanger are worsted by [Chevalier] d'Eon and [Joseph de Bologne de Saint-Georges or the Chevalier de Saint-Georges] St. George. In the foreground (right) Hanger staggers backwards under the attack of St. George; his hat and bludgeon are on the ground beside him. St. George says, "Now in de Mouth, den in de Eye, & den where you like." Behind and on the left the Prince stands limply in front of an arched doorway. The Chevalier d'Eon, in profile to the left, faces the Prince with clenched fists. His dress and attitude recall the print of the famous fencing-match at Carlton House on 9 Apr. 1787, [Reproduced, Angelo, 'Reminiscences', 1904, ii. 46; attributed to Picot after Robineau. Attributed by Wright and Evans to Gillray, and reprinted in Bohn's 'Gillray', 1851 (No. 375).] though he is in the position of a boxer, not of a fencer. He wears a frilled muslin cap and fichu, with ruffled elbow sleeves as in that print; he says "vill you have de toder Stroke". The Prince, putting his right hand to his eye, says, "no no I find I cant Stand up to yow now I'm done, Oh! my Eye." His feathered hat is at his feet. Behind him is the curving baluster of a descending staircase. On the wall is the inscription: 'Gentlemen and Ladies Taught the polite Arts of Boxing, Fencing &c &c by------George & ------D'Eon'. On the left hang two crossed foils with a pair of fencing-masks. On the right is a picture of St. George in classical draperies riding down an ass which he transfixes with his spear."--British Museum online catalogue.