Thomas Rowlandson

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Rowlandson, Thomas

(rō`ləndsən), 1756–1827, English caricaturist, b. London. He studied at the Royal Academy and in Paris, but his passion for gambling prevented him from producing much until c.1782, when he was obliged to earn a living. As a humorous caricaturist and critical commentator of the social scene, Rowlandson quickly gained celebrity. His drawing Vauxhall Gardens (1784) was a great success, as was his series of drawings The Comforts of Bath that was reproduced in 1789. This was followed by the famous Tour of Dr. Syntax (series in 3 vol., 1812–21), Dance of Death (1814–16), and Dance of Life (1822)—all with text by William Combe. Rowlandson also illustrated Smollett, Goldsmith, Sterne, and Swift. Most of his drawings were first done in ink with a reed pen and given a delicate wash of color. The fluidity of his line is likened to the French rococorococo
, style in architecture, especially in interiors and the decorative arts, which originated in France and was widely used in Europe in the 18th cent. The term may be derived from the French words rocaille and coquille
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, but the spirited humor of his work, sometimes almost coarse, is in the English style. His work is represented in the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum.


See studies by R. Paulson (1972) and J. Hayes (1972).

Rowlandson, Thomas


Born July 4, 1756, in London; died there Apr. 22, 1827. English artist and caricaturist.

Rowlandson was trained at the Royal Academy in London and in a drawing school in Paris, where from 1772 to 1775 he also attended the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. A master of mass scenes, he produced engravings and pen-and-ink drawings with watercolor washes. His drawings, permeated with the spirited, biting humor typical of the caricature, ridiculed the mores of the gentry and the bourgeoisie (the series The Microcosm Of London, 1808). Rowlandson also illustrated the works of Goldsmith, Smollett, and Sterne.


Nekrasova, E. Ocherki po istorii angliiskoi karikatury kontsa XVIII i nachala XIX vekov. Leningrad, 1935.
Paulson, R. Rowlandson: A New Interpretation. London, 1972.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Post Office, 1809, Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) after Augustus Charles Pugin (1762-1832), aquatint, hand-coloured.
He shows us the eighteenth century satire and English realism of William Hogarth and the watercolourist, Paul Sandby; and he contrasts the coarse burlesques of Thomas Rowlandson with the return to sentimentalism in the popular prints of Francis Wheatley.
Ninette de Valois still had hankerings for a chauvinistic British tradition, with ballets based on the prints of William Hogarth and Thomas Rowlandson, and even invited Leonide Massine to create, with dire results, a Scottish bal]et, Donald of the Burthens.
These two parts (each of three chapters) are enclosed in ample bookends: an Introduction presents a few paradigmatic instances from Delariviere Manley, but then goes into much greater detail about the recent pornography wars, Catherine MacKinnon, and sex-positive feminist performers like Annie Sprinkle and Lydia Lunch (figures who never reappear in the book itself); a long Conclusion launches into several new topics dating from the nineteenth century, notably the Queen Caroline divorce and the bawdy prints of Thomas Rowlandson.
A PEEP behind the Scenes, the life and art of Thomas Rowlandson.
Further commingling takes place between these and portions of Johnson's letters to the Thrales (written during the journey), short extracts from Boswell's manuscript journal, caricatures by Thomas Rowlandson, and arresting portraits by Allan Ramsay and others.
The popularity of Combe's work owed much to the illustrations of Thomas Rowlandson.
1), has been borrowed for the show as a whole --a romp through the graphic works of Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827), unstinting celebrant of grog, women and song.
Thomas Rowlandson was noteworthy in which artistic field?
Thomas Rowlandson, one of the greatest English cartoonists of all time gave us a perfect illustration of Vauxhall in its heyday.
George Woodward (1760-1809) was a contemporary of Isaac Cruikshank (1764-1811) and Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827), both of whom engraved some of his drawings, and was a pioneer of the strip cartoon.
Artists featured in the display include William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds, George Romney, Thomas Rowlandson, William Blake, John Constable and local artist Luke Clennell.