Volltext: A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art

and Art. 
drawing, with an efpecial turn for fatire. As a fchoolboy, he covered the 
margins of his books with caricatures upon his mafier and upon his fellow- 
fcholars, and at the age of {ixteen he was admitted a ftudent in the Royal 
Academy in London, then in its infancy. But he did not prof-it imme- 
diately by this admillion, for his aunt invited him to Paris, where he 
 began and followed his [tudies in art with great fuccefs, and was remarked 
 for the ikill with which he drew the human body. His ftudies from 
nature, while in Paris, are faid to have been remarkably fine. Nor did 
his tafte for fatirical defign fail him, for it was one of his greateft amule- 
ments to caricature the numerous individuals, and groups of individuals, 
 who mutt in that age have prefented objects of ridicule to a lively 
 Englilhman. During this time his aunt died, leaving him all her 
 property, conlilling of about 57,000 in money, and a confiderable amount 
 in plate and other objects. The fudden potfellion of fo much money 
 proved a misfortune to young Rowlandfon. He appears to have had an 
 early love for gaiety, and he now yielded to all the temptations to vice 
 held out by the French metropolis, and efpecially to an uncontrollable 
pallion for gambling, through which he foon diilipated his fortune. 
Before this, however, had been effected, Rowlandfon, after having 
refided in Paris about two years, returned to London, and continued his 
fiudies in the Royal Academy. But he appears for fome years to have 
given himfelf up entirely to his difhpated habits, and to have worked only 
at intervals, when he was driven to it by the want of money. We are 
told by one who was intimate with him, that, when reduced to this con- 
dition, he nfed to exclaim, holding up his pencil, " I have been playing 
the fool, but here is my refourcel" and he would then produce-with 
extraordinary rapidity-caricatures enough to fupply his momentary 
wants. Moft of Rowlandfon's earlier prodtictions were publifhed anony- 
moufly, but here and there, among large collections, we meet with a 
print, which, by comparilon of the ftyle with that of his earlieft 
known works, we can hardly helitate in afcribing to him; and from 
thefe it would appear that he had begun with political caricature, 
 becaufe, perhaps, at that period of great agitation, it was molt called 
 for, and, therefore, molt profitable. Three of the earliefi: of the political 
 3 o caricatures


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