The 18th and 19th Centuries


(Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Art Styles in 19th century - Art Map)


Neoclassicism and Romanticism


Thomas Rowlandson

(comic images of familiar social types)



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—Tourof 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 werethen etched by the artist on copper and afterward aquatinted—usually by a professional engraver, the impressions being finally coloured by hand. Rowlandson compromised his reputation in his later years by producing a mass of inferior drawings. The works of his prime, however, are outstanding in the vitality of their outline and the gusto of their comment on human weaknesses.



"The Tour of Doctor Syntax in Search of the Picturesque"

 a poem by William Combe


The Revd. Doctor Syntax



Doctor Syntax at Liverpool



Doctor Syntax at a review



Doctor Syntax loses his money on the race-ground at York



Doctor Syntax loses his way



Doctor Syntax entertained at College



Doctor Syntax bound to a tree by highwaymen



Doctor Syntax copying the wit of the window



Doctor Syntax taking possession of his living



Doctor Syntax return'd from his tour



The Doctor's Dream



Doctor Syntax at Covent Garden Theatre



Doctor Syntax & bookseller



Syntax preaching



Doctor Syntax reading his tour



Doctor Syntax & dairy maid



Doctor Syntax, Rural sport



Doctor Syntax sells Grizzle



Dr. Syntax robb'd of his property



Doctor Syntax drawing after nature



Doctor Syntax sketching the lake



Doctor Syntax made free of the cellar



Doctor Syntax with my Lord



Doctor Syntax mistakes a gentleman's house for an inn



Doctor Syntax tumbling into the water



Doctor Syntax meditating on the tomb stones



Doctor Syntax pursued by a bull



Doctor Syntax disputing his bill with the landlady



Doctor Syntax stopt by highwaymen



Doctor Syntax setting out on his tour of the lakes


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