Attributed to Thomas Rowlandson(1756 1827) Pen, Ink and Watercolour
"St George's Hospital with Hyde Park Corner Turnpike" * SIGNED
20.5 x 25.7cm (approx 8.5 x 10.25 inches)
"St George's Hospital with Hyde Park Corner Turnpike"
Pen and black ink with touches of Watercolour wash, heightened with touches of bodycolour on wove paper laid on blue paper. Signed Rowlandson (lower right) and inscribed "St George's Hospital with Hyde Park Corner Turnpike" (lower right). Unframed. The Folio itself is in Very Good Condition apart from some faint age mark (upper right). The blue paper on which the original folio is laid (but not attached) is slightly torn at the upper middle and lower right; the original Folio on which Rowlandson drew is intact.
This is a topographically important Drawing by the famous British Artist Thomas Rowlandson (1756 -1827) whose works can be found in many major public and private collections including: the Tate Gallery in London; the British Museum; the V & A Museum; the Fine Art Museum of San Francisco, The Paul Mellon Collection and the Forbes Collection, to mention but a few.
Provenance: Private Collection; Southgate, Son and Grimston, London 1834.
LITERATURE: B. Falk Thomas Rowlandson, His Life and Art, London and New York 1949; J. Hayes Rowlandson Watercolours and Drawings, London 1972; T. Wilcox Catalogue for Andrew Clayton Payne's An Exhibition of Watercolours by Thomas Rowlandson 1756 1827, London 1998; The Museum of London, Picture Library.
Thomas Rowlandson (1756 1827) was probably the most popular artist of the Georgian period in England. He was raised by his affluent aunt and uncle because of his textile merchant father's financial hardships. In 1772, he enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools in London. In 1774 he traveled to Paris. Upon his return, he exhibited at the Royal Academy and won a silver medal in 1777. A year later, he left school in order to set up his own business. His prints were Rococo-like depictions of Georgian England made mostly in ink and watercolor. Rowlandson inherited a large sum of money in 1789 after the death of his aunt. He lost much of it due to a gambling problem and was in poverty by 1793. Four years later, he began working for publisher Rudolph Ackermann and his fortunes increased. His work was published for most of the twenty remaining years of his life. His style and technique remained consistent although the subject matter he drew was diverse. He is admired internationally both as a comic artist and for his superb draughtsmanship of the contemporary scene he drew as an observer. His most acclaimed watercolour remains probably Vauxhall Gardens, one of the finest examples of his London views of the time.
This fascinating drawing St George's Hospital with Hyde Park Corner Turnpike dating approx 1790, shows the Turnpike at Hyde Park Corner, the terminus of one of the ancient highways leading into London. A weighing engine monitored tolls and the weight of the vehicle and load. St George's Hospital is shown in meticolous detail. Located opposite the park, the hospital was founded in 1733 by a group of Governors from Westminster, who chose Lanesborough House as the building to house their new hospital. In the early years of the eighteenth century, the area of Knightsbridge had a reputation for healthiness and they wanted their patients to benefit from the country air. The meticulous nature of the drawings is representative of the liveliness of Rowlandson's penwork and the evident care he took. A wide audience enjoys his work and there are major collections, particularly in America, with the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale owning some 400 drawings, reflecting collectors' enthusiasm for the English way of life in the 18th and early 19th centuries.