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Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827)

The prodigal son's resignation. 24 Mar 1809

Hand-coloured etching | 27.0 x 38.5 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 810762

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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 Duke’s resignation would be short-lived. Cat. 78