Between Heats [The Course]

Thomas Rowlandson British
Publisher S. W. Fores British

Not on view

Eighteenth-century English horse races often consisted of several heats and this scene shows a break between two. The pause of about an hour allowed the horses to rest, and offered opportunities for spectators to enjoy entertainments. Here, tents pitched near a grandstand shelter dancers, a roulette wheel and offer refreshments. A stout man with crutches bemoaning a lost bet is the famous thoroughbred owner Dennis O'Kelly. The print comes from a group by Rowlandson devoted to moments in horse racing--interestingly none shows a finish. When first published around 1789, the titles were "The Mount," "The Start," "The Betting Post," and "The Course." The present example comes from an expanded reissue of 1798-99 with titles altered to "Mounting" (59.533.1697), "Racing" (59.533.1694), "Betting" (59.533.1695), with "Between Heats" (59.533.514, 59.533.1700), and "Weighing" (59.533.1696) and "Running out of the Course" (59.533.1698) added.

Between Heats [The Course], Thomas Rowlandson (British, London 1757–1827 London), Hand-colored etching and aquatint

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