Friday, August 1, 2008

Thomas Rowlandson: Pornographic Etcher from Old Jewry

Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) was one of England's great satirists and a master of pen drawing and watercolor technique. Born to a tradesman in the London's Old Jewry, he was raised by his wealthy silk merchant uncle after his father went into bankruptcy. When his uncle died, his aunt paid his way at school, in Paris and from 1772 at the Royal Academy, where he first exhibited paintings in 1775. Lacking success as a traditional painter, he gravitated to caricature and social satire — and his career took off. He inherited a fortune when his aunt died in 1789, but squandered it in several ruinous years of dissipation and gambling, sometimes gaming for two days without sleep.
Rowlandson’s designs were usually done in outline with the reed-pen, and delicately washed with colour. They were then etched by the artist on the copper, and afterwards aquatinted --usually by a professional engraver, the impressions being finally coloured by hand. As a designer he was characterized by the utmost facility and ease of draughtsmanship, and the quality of his art suffered from this haste and over-production. He dealt less frequently with politics than his fierce contemporary, Gillray, but commonly touching, in a rather gentle spirit, the various aspects and incidents of social life. His most artistic work is to be found among the more careful drawings of his earlier period; but even among the exaggerated caricature of his later time we find hints that this master of the humorous might have attained to the beautiful had he so willed.(read more...)

Thomas's coloured ethings cannot be found at the new exibition in Ein Hod Gallery called "Passion". The opening is tomorrow at noon.
תשוקה בעין הוד, תערוכה קבוצתית, גלריית אמני עין הוד, מחר, 1.8.08 שבת 12:00 בצהרים

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