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Rowlandson's friend Henry Angelo described Rowlandson's artistic powers as 'so very versatile, and his fancy so rich, that every species of composition flowed from his pen with equal facility'. Angelo also noted that Rowlandson always carried a sketchbook. This work may well have started as a slight pencil drawing in a sketchbook. He then worked it up with pen and ink and watercolour washes. The outlines were then strengthened using a fine brush dipped in dark red watercolour. In its use of delicate watercolour washes, this work is characteristic of most of Rowlandson's output. Along with the two other works by him in this display, it displays exactly what Angelo meant by Rowlandson's versatility.

September 2004