Pollard, Robert; Jukes, Francis (after Thomas Rowlandson, British, 1756-1827) Vaux-hall, 1785, hand-coloured etching and aquatint on laid paper, 53.7 x 75.4cm (sheet). Gift of J.T. Johnson and Marion Darte Johnson, 1982
Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) and James Gillray (1756-1815) were the two great caricaturists of the Georgian period. Gillray became the master of political satire; and Rowlandson, of social commentary. The excesses of society, from the ups and downs of fashion to over-indulgence at the gin shop or gaming tables, provided a multitude of subjects for Rowlandson's quick pen. A brilliant draughtsman, his work extended beyond caricature and comic drawing to sporting themes, genre, portraiture and landscape. From 1980 to 1985, the Gallery received over 120 illustrated books, prints, and watercolours from the Toronto collector, John T. Johnson. Mr. Johnston's generosity makes possible the exhibition of Rowlandson's art showing the full range of the artist's skill and inventive wit.