High Spirits: 18th Century Royal Fun

The much awaited exhibition, High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson, is currently showing in one of England’s most cultural and artistic towns—Bath.

The great city of Bath, with its Roman antiquities and literary connection with Jane Austen, must be on every UK visitor’s travel plan. Even more so, with the wonderful exhibition currently running at Bath’s Holbourne Museum: High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson (until February 8, 2015). The absurdities of fashion, the perils of love, political machinations and royal intrigue were the daily subject matter of Thomas Rowlandson, one of the leading caricaturists of Georgian England. Rowlandson was working at a time when English satirical prints were prized by collectors across Europe.

A number of the works in the exhibition were purchased by George, Prince of Wales, later Prince Regent and King George IV. Ironically the Prince was often the butt of caricaturists’ jokes and sometimes tried to prevent the publication of images that he felt were particularly offensive. Through Rowlandson’s drawings and prints, the exhibition gives a vibrant insight into life at the turn of the 18th century.

Read more: The Grand Tour Of The 18th Century

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