In the manner of Richard St. George Mansergh St. George (Irish, ca. 1750–1798)
Published London by Matthew Darly (British, ca. 1720–1778 (?))
Published London by Mary Darly (British, 1760–1781)
May 20, 1776
sheet: 9 3/4 x 13 15/16 in. (24.7 x 35.4 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917
Not on view
Two elaborately dressed, coarse looking women face one another at a "rout" or social gathering for City of London tradesmen and their wives. Members of this class had recently grown wealthy through trade and could afford to ape the aristocracy. The image suggests that the adornments chosen by these party-goers are ill-suited to their bulky forms and graceless manners. In addition to richly embellished gowns and elaborate high hair-dos, one woman wears long ostrich feathers – expensive status symbols made au courant by Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Refreshments carried by a short liveried waiter with unkempt hair underscore the mixture of low class and high taste. Elegant jelly glasses perch above a down-to-earth pie and foaming tankard of ale.
Inscription: in plate lower right: "Pub-d. acco-r. to Act by MDarly 39 Strand May 20. 1776"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine," September 13, 2011–March 4, 2012.
British Museum Satires V.5372
Nadine Orenstein, Constance C. McPhee Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine Exh. cat.: September 13, 2011 - March 4, 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Haven and London, 2011, Entry by Constance McPhee, cat. no. 80, p. 114, ill.