Thomas Rowlandson

English artist, caricaturist and draughtsman (1757 - 1827)

Rowlandson was the only son of the merchant William Rowlandson (died 1789) and his wife Mary (dates unrecorded). His father went bankrupt in 1759 and Rowlandson and his younger sister were brought up by their uncle, a successful silk weaver, and his wife in Soho, London.

Rowlandson was admitted as a student at the Royal Academy Schools in London in 1772 at the early age of 15. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1775, shortly after his first trip to Paris. He was awarded a silver medal for a figure in bas-relief in 1777. He mostly produced drawings in pen and ink, incorporating grey wash to add depth until 1780. After this he began to work as an illustrator for a number of publishers, producing social and political caricatures.

Rowlandson travelled frequently to France until the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789. After this he began to tour England and Wales. He produced a large number of humerous watercolours and also specialised in urban topography and portrait drawings that narrated the amusements of everyday life.
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Artist/maker
  • Nationality
    British: English
  • Born
    1757-07-13
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London
  • Died
    1827-04-21
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London
  • Cause of death
    Illness
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