Exhibition Stare Case
This print depicts visitors to the Royal Academy falling headlong down the stairs of Somerset House, which is now the Courtauld Institute of Art. The architect who designed the building, Sir William Chambers, claimed it ‘a momument to the taste and elegancy of His Majesty’s reign’.
Extract from the British Museum:
Rowlandson suggests that the architect was more interested in the visual effect of his staircase than in its practical utility. He also plays with two commonplace observations about exhibition audiences: that some female spectators came to be seen as much as to see and that some male spectators were more interested in living flesh than in painted nudes.
The Stranger’s Guide; or, the London Sharper Detected: being a Complete Exposure of all the Frauds of London, practised by Bawds, Bullies, Fortune-Tellers, Footpads, Gamblers, Gossips, Highwaymen, Housebreakers, Jilts, Kidnappers, Ring-Droppers, Pimps, Procuresses, Pickpockets, Quacks, Sharpers, Swindlers, Smugglers, Shop-lifters, Street-Robbers, Trappers, Waggon Hunters, Women of Pleasure, &c. &c. &c. (via Spitalfields Life)
19th century letter composition textbooks included examples of how to challenge someone to a duel, and how to snarkily decline a challenge.
“A mere empty butterfly, as I must call you…”
SICK BURN, REGENCY-ERA GENTLEMAN
“Six Stages of Mending a Face”’ Thomas Rowlandson, 1792
“Dedicated with respect to the Right Hon. Lady Archer”