Thomas Rowlandson was born on July 13, 1756 at his family residence on Old Jewry, London. Rowlandson's father was a merchant who made bad decisions and eventually was bankrupt. Fortunately for Thomas his widowed aunt, Mademoiselle Chattelier, had means and apparently sponsored his continued education and lifestyle. The artist was educated in London and Paris including years of study at the Royal Academy at Old Somerset House. For a time he had a portrait studio. When his aunt died she left Rowlandson an inheritance that he feverishly spent on entertainment and gambling in London and Paris. Facing poverty, he was encouraged by the success of James Gillray and other caricature artists of the time to seek his living in the trade.
Rowlandson was known to produce caricatures quickly, relying on his years of study of the human figure to compose groups of people in situations.
“His style, which was purely his own, was most original. He drew a bold outline with the reed-pen in a tint composed of vermillion and Indian ink, washed in the general effect in chiaro-scuro, and tinted the whole with the proper colours.” - Page 465 of The Annual Biography and Obituary of 1827
Rowlandson was supported for many years by the patronage of art publisher Rudolph Ackermann. Ackerman possessed a large collection of Rowlandson's work. Ackermann also published a series of poems by Dr. William Combe and illustrated by Rowlandson titled "The Schoolmaster’s Tour" in Poetical Magazine in 1809. Other successful collaborations followed including The Microcosm of London, The tour of Doctor Syntax, in search of the picturesque, The Dance of Death and The Dance of Life. Rowlandson is also famous for his illustrations life in the boudoirs of the high and low born people of London.
rticles and Galleries about Thomas Rowlandson and his work
Books about the life and work of Thomas Rowlandson available on Google Books
1905 - Old Coloured Books By George Paston: With Sixteen Coloured Plates. Printed in London by Methuen & Co.
1904 - The Microcosm Of London Or London In Miniature. Volume I (of 3): With Thirty-Two Illustrations by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson Published in London by Methuen & Co.
1904 - The Microcosm Of London Or London In Miniature. Volume III (of 3): With Forty-Four Illustrations by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson Published in London by Methuen & Co.
1903 - The Third Tour Of Doctor Syntax In Search Of A Wife A Poem: With Twenty Five Coloured Illustrations by Thomas Rowlandson. A New Edition Published in New York by D. Appleton & Company
1903 - The History Of Johnny Genus The Little Foundling Of The Late Doctor Syntax: A Poem By The Author Of The Three Tours. With Twenty-Four Coloured Illustrations By Thomas Rowlandson A New Edition Published in London by Methuen & Co.
1903 - The English Dance Of Death: from the designs of Thomas Rowlandson with Metrical Illustrations by the Author of "Doctor Syntax" Volume I. New Editions. Published in London by Methuen and Co. NOTE: This issue is founded on the original Edition published by R Ackermann in the year 1815.
1903 - The Dance Of Life A Poem By The Author Of “Doctor Syntax:” Illustrated With Coloured Engravings By Thomas Rowlandson. A New Edition Published in New York by D. Appleton and Company. Note: This issue is founded on the edition published by R. Ackermann in the year 1817.
1880 - Rowlandson The Caricaturist: A Selection From His Works With Anecdotal Descriptions Of His Famous Caricatures And A Sketch of Life Times And Contemporaries. By Joseph Grego Author Of 'James Gillray The Caricaturist His Life Works And Times.' With about four hundred illustrations in two volumes. Vol. I. Publish in New Your by J. W. Bouton.
1815 - The Tour Of Doctor Syntax, In Search Of The Picturesque: A Poem. By Dr. William Combe And Illustrated by Thomas Rowlandson. Published in London by R. Ackermann Repository of Arts.
1809 - "The Schoolmasters Tour" By Dr. William Combe and illustrated by Thomas Rowlandson. Published in The Poetical Magazine, Seventh Number - Vol. II. November, 1809.
1808 - Thirteen Etchings Illustrative Of Striking Passages In Tom Jones And Joseph Andrews; Designed By Thomas Rowlandson, Esq. Also a specimen of a New Edition of Smollett's Works. Edinburgh: Printed by John Orphoot, for Cornelius Elliot at the Cross and John Murray, London.
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