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Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827)

The prodigal son's resignation. 24 Mar 1809

RCIN 810762

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A hand-coloured print of The Duke of York who, weeping, confesses his sins on bended knees to his father George III. Caricaturists frequently used the parable of the Prodigal Son to refer to George III’s sons, perhaps reflecting a popular view that they were too easily forgiven for their transgressions. Rowlandson shows the Duke of York kneeling before his despairing father. Although the King admonishes his ‘very naughty boy’, he quickly forgives him, reflecting public belief that the resignation would be short-lived. Inscribed in the plate: Pubd March 24th 1809 by Ths Tegg / No 111 Cheapside