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Thomas Rowlandson (1757 – 1827) was one of the leading satirical artists of Georgian Britain. He was sent to the Royal Academy Schools in London in 1772, at the age of 15, and in 1774 travelled to Paris to study with the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Rowlandson was a talented portraitist, sketching his fellow students as they worked and exhibiting portrait drawings in the late 1770s.

The Last Drop, a glutton drinking from a bowl of punch

The Last Drop by Rowlandson, 1811 ©

In 1778 Rowlandson finished his studies and found work as a satirical printmaker. He produced comical prints and drawings of public figures, political scandals and fashionable foibles. By the late 1780s he was one of the leading satirical artists in London.

The Royal Collection includes over a thousand of Rowlandson’s works, acquired by members of the royal family from the 1780s onwards. Many have been stored in albums and portfolios since they were made and retain the vivid colours that their first owners would have enjoyed.

Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827)

High Spirits

Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827)

Doctor Convex and Lady Concave.