This 64+ year old Item is rated Near Mint. No creases. No natural defects. No surface rub. No tears. No water damage. Please note: There is printing on the verso.
Period Paper is pleased to offer a collection of beautiful 1947 monochrome and color aquatones of original watercolor drawings by Thomas Rowlandson, an English artist who was at once a dissenter revolting against the formalism of the classical tradition, as well as one of the greatest satirists and draftsmen not only of his generation, but historically.
The collection represents numerous, seemingly disparate scenes, unified and rendered a coherent whole through RowlandsonÕs assertive individuality and deft satiric and artistic handling. Throughout his work, Rowlandson employs his wit to ridicule the purported and prevailing morals and manners of his time, providing a subtle social commentary about the artificiality of the drawing room, fashion, alcohol, the English gentry and other contemporaneous issues. RowlandsonÕs work focuses on the reality to which he was witness, a reality defined by the degradation of purported and proclaimed morals, which in his time were so frequently, yet hypocritically, espoused. His work wonderfully represents the transitions taking place in English art and literature during the eighteenth century, as it was a concurrent expression of the popular temperament.
Rowland did not preach, but rather participated in the events and situations unfolding around him. His deft artistic handling, simple and well-defined palette and humorous, yet sincere style, provided a charming approach to such dramatic content, concealing contempt below layers of the seemingly whimsical and absurd. RowlandsonÕs work expresses the essential human condition, which though exaggerated, is never idealized. Each scene is a revelation of real individuals reveling in life and pursuing their particular habits and appetites, encompassing the enormity of joys, absurdities, sufferings and vices. RowlandÕs fluid draftsmanship, vigorous, yet thoughtful style and dynamic compositions result in a delicate delineation and sensitive realism of exaggerated commonplaces unified by subtle arrangements of chromatic harmonies.
The collection is produced with the aquatone process, which employs a photosensitized gelatin and fine halftone screen to deftly and delicately capture the nuanced color, line and tone of the original watercolor drawings. Each piece is exceptionally printed on an off-white, medium-weight woven stock.
These superb pieces capture the biting wit, satire and insight of a great critic and artist. The collection offers a wonderful opportunity to own an unique and important document of eighteenth and early nineteenth century English social commentary.
This piece was illustrated by Rowlandson, Thomas. There is no visible artist signature.
Thomas Rowlandson (13 July 1756 Ð 21 April 1827) was an English artist, draftsman, printmaker and caricaturist working in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Born in the Old Jewry in London in 1756, Rowlandson moved with his family to Richmond, North Yorkshire in 1759, following his fatherÕs declaration of bankruptcy.
Following the death of his uncle, James, in 1764, Rowlandson returned to London to attend the Soho Academy, likely the beneficiary of his widowed auntÕs monetary assistance. At the Soho Academy, a respected boarding school, Rowlandson befriended Jack Bannister and Henry Angelo, two individuals with whom Rowlandson would manifest an increasingly intense interest in the arts and develop lifelong friendships. Upon leaving the Soho Academy, Rowlandson enrolled at the Royal Academy of Arts. It was during his second year at the Royal Academy that Rowlandson began to assert his individuality, discovering the direct, graceful and fluid line that would develop into his distinctive style.
In 1772, RowlandsonÕs uncle, Thomas, died, and he was once again the beneficiary of a widowed auntÕs generosity, as he was invited to join her in Paris to further pursue his artistic studies. Rowlandson accepted the invitation, concentrating his artistic study in the Louvre and Bibliothèque Nationale, while pursuing relaxation and excitement in the nocturnal, and then fashionable, gambling resorts. The two disparate scenes provided Rowlandson the education from which he would draw for his mature work; his solitary artistic studies filling volumes of sketchbooks with notes and drawings after old mastersÕ prints, drawings, and paintings, and his nocturnal forays educating him about complex social interactions and contemporary issues. Later overtaken by poverty, Rowlandson combined his extensive understanding of composition, color and line with his nuanced understanding of the social condition in dramatic and exquisite fashion, becoming a formative satirist and caricaturist of his time; the result of which is mature works of great beauty, depth and social insight.
RowlandsonÕs mature work employs wit and artistry in equal measure. Dealing less frequently with political themes than his fierce contemporary, James Gillray, Rowlandson employed his deft artistic handling to ridicule the purported and prevailing morals and manners of his time, providing a subtle social commentary about the artificiality of societyÕs norms and other contemporaneous issues. RowlandsonÕs work focuses on the reality to which he was simultaneously witness and participant, a reality defined by the degradation of purported and proclaimed morals, which were so frequently, yet hypocritically, espoused. Fluid draftsmanship that is at once vigorous, yet thoughtful, and a simple and well-defined palette characteristically define his dynamic compositions that delicately delineate a sensitive realism of exaggerated commonplaces unified by subtle arrangements of chromatic harmonies and humorous, yet sincere commentary.
Keywords specific to this image: Fluid Draughtsmanship, Social Commentary, English Art, Caricature, Humorous, Ballroom, Costume, Fashion, Violin, Schottische, Valse a Deux Temps, Redowa, Five-Step Waltz, Varsouvienne, Waltz, Social Dance, Gathering, Augustan Age, Satirist, Satire