Thomas Rowlandson, (born July 1756,
Old Jewry, London, Eng.—died April 22, 1827, London), English
painter and caricaturist who illustrated the life of 18th-century
England and created comic images of familiar social types of his
day, such as the antiquarian, the old maid, the blowsy barmaid, and
the Grub Street hack. His characters ranged from the ridiculously
pretentious, with their elaborate coiffures, widely frogged
uniforms, and enormous bosoms and bottoms, to the merely pathetic,
whose trailing handkerchiefs expressed their dejected attitudes.
The son of a tradesman, Rowlandson
became a student in the Royal Academy. At age 16 he went to study in
Paris. After establishing a studio as a portrait painter, he began
to draw caricatures to supplement his income, and this soon became
his major interest.
His series of drawings “The
Schoolmaster’s Tour,” accompanied by verses of William Combe, was
published in the new Poetical Magazine (1809–11) launched by the art
publisher Rudolph Ackermann, who was Rowlandson’s chief employer.
The same collaboration of designer, author, and publisher resulted
in the popular Dr. Syntax series—Tour of Dr. Syntax in Search of the
Picturesque (1812), The Second Tour of Dr. Syntax in Search of
Consolation (1820), and The Third Tour of Dr. Syntax in Search of a
Wife (1821). They also produced The English Dance of Death (1815–16)
and The Dance of Life (1816–17). Rowlandson illustrated editions of
novels by Tobias Smollett, Oliver Goldsmith, and Laurence Sterne.
Rowlandson’s designs were usually
executed in outline with a reed pen and delicately washed with
colour. They were then etched by the artist on copper and afterward
aquatinted—usually by a professional engraver, the impressions being
finally coloured by hand. The works of Rowlandson’s prime are
outstanding in the vitality of their outline and the gusto of their
comment on human
Matrimonial Comforts – Washing Day, 1810
The Anatomist, 1811
„Boney and his New Wife, or a Quarrell about Nothing“
(caricature of Napoléon Bonaparte and his wife Marie Louise of
Beauty and the Beast.
Comforts of Bath. Public Breakfast.
Comforts of Bath. The Artist's Studio.
Sportsmen in the Dumps.
"A Peep at the Gas-lights in Pall Mall", a humorous caricature of
to the installation of the new invention of gas-burning street
lighting on Pall-Mall, London.
Breaking Up of the Blue Stocking Club