Vauxhall Gardens by Thomas Rowlandson

This group portrait depicts one of the most fashionable of London's pleasure gardens.

Details

Medium:
Pen & watercolour over pencil
Dimensions:
48.2 x 74.8 cm
Art Fund grant:
£1,000 ( Total: £5,000)
Acquired in:
1967
Vendor:
Executors of A.E.Pearson

At the right, the Prince of Wales, the future George IV, whispers to his lover, the actress Perdita Robinson. Under the central tree figures include Captain Topham, owner and editor of the World, the Duchess of Devonshire and the Lady Bessborough, the Admiral Paisley on the Duchess's right as well as Sir Henry Bate- Dudley, editor of the Morning Herald and James Perry, editor of the Morning Chronicle, - in Highland dress - under the tree. It used to be thought that the group dining at the left depicted Dr Johnson and his party, but this is no longer sustainable. The singer above them is Mrs Weichsel, mother of the most celebrated vocal performer that England ever produced, Elisabeth Billington (1765-1818).

Provenance

A.E.Pearson

Venue details

V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) Cromwell Road, London London SW7 2RL 020 7942 2000 www.vam.ac.uk

Entry details

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