Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Connoisseurs

Artist:
Thomas Rowlandson (British, London 1757–1827 London)
Publisher:
Samuel William Fores (British, 1761–1838)
Date:
June 20, 1799
Medium:
Hand-colored etching
Dimensions:
Sheet: 10 11/16 × 8 7/16 in. (27.2 × 21.4 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1959
Accession Number:
59.533.644
Not on view
Rowlandson here directs his visual wit against a group of elderly art enthusiasts who lean in appreciatively to examine a painting of Venus and Cupid. Their lecherous expressions, the voluptuous subject before them, and the biblical scene of Susanna and the elders on the wall behind all suggest that their devotion to art does not arise out of aesthetic appreciation alone. To create texture and shadow, the artist etched a network of fine lines, using touches of stipple to help define the forms. Rowlandson's publisher would have directed the watercolor additions.
Inscription: Inscribed in plate within image lower right: "Rowlandson 1799"; below image center: "Connoisseurs"; in black ink below image right: "June 20"
Francis Harvey (British, active by 1859–died 1899); C. W. Dyson Perrins, his sale Sotheby's London, Jan. 12, 1959; Vendor: Sotheby's, London, Jan. 12, 1959, lot 163
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 22, 2002–July 14, 2002.

Grego I.364-66, II.395; British Museum Satires 9463
Frederic George Stephens, M. Dorothy George Catalogue of political and personal satires preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum. 11 vols., London, 1870-.

Joseph Grego Rowlandson the Caricaturist: A selection from his works, with anecdotal desciptions.... 2 vols., London, 1880, vol. I, pp. 364-66, vol. II, p. 395.



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