Artist biography

English caricaturist, watercolourist, draughtsman and engraver. Although he is commonly thought of as a satirist, most of his drawings are gently humorous, and in some cases objective, records of urban and rustic life. With the exception of a small number of topographical drawings, they are characterised by an abundance of picaresque incidents, whether robust or sentimental, and have much in common with the novels of Laurence Sterne and Henry Fielding, which Rowlandson illustrated in 1808 and 1809.

Rowlandson's reputation suffered in the prudish moral climate of Victorian England, but by the mid 20th century he was recognised as a minor master and one of the most brilliant draughtsmen of his day.

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