Exhibitions/ Art Object

Theatrical Pleasures, Plate 2: Contending for a Seat

Artist:
Theodore Lane (British, Isleworth ca. 1800–1828 London)
Publisher:
Published by Thomas McLean (British, active London 1788-1885)
Date:
ca. 1835
Medium:
Hand-colored etching
Dimensions:
image: 8 15/16 x 7 5/16 in. (22.7 x 18.6 cm)
sheet: 10 9/16 x 8 3/4 in. (26.8 x 22.2 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917
Accession Number:
17.3.888-40
Not on view
Lower-middle-class theatergoers struggle here to secure unreserved seats in the pit at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, while being observed by refined audience members in private boxes above. Two men engaged in fisticuffs cause consternation to those nearby. The titles of dramas lettered on playbills comment on the fracas. Point of Honour and Peeping Tom, on a sheet in the left foreground, suggest the cause of the fight and draw attention to a man in striped trousers looking up a woman’s dress. A second handbill, at the right, lettered The Devil to Pay and Love, Law and Physic, hints at the trials of sitting in the pit and suggests the low taste of the audience since the latter farce was characterized by Cockney humor.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine," September 13, 2011–March 4, 2012.

see British Museum Satires X.14304 (earlier version pub. G. Humphrey 1822)
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. 104, pp. 138, ill.



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