Poetical Magazine; Dedicated to the Lovers of the Muse, By the Agent of the Goddess, Vols. 1-4

Various artists/makers

Not on view

These volumes contain Rowlandson's series titled "The Schoolmaster's Tour," the images supported by poetry by William Combe. Proving immesely popular, prints and text would be published as a book in 1812 renamed "The Tour of Doctor Syntax in Search of the Picturesque." The central character was conceived to make fun of the contemporary rage for the picturesque, an aesthetic concept introduced to late eighteenth-century Britain in essays by William Gilpin. The latter praised irregular natural forms, influenced garden design and encouraged tourists to seek out medieval ruins. Rowlandson's response was to imagine a country curate inspired to travel to the Lake District to sketch landscapes. Along the way he encounters numerous mishaps and the artist's imagination created a character now as well known as the concept he satirizes.

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