Vauxhall Gardens

Artist: after Thomas Rowlandson (British, London 1757–1827 London)

Artist: Robert Pollard (British, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1755–1838 London)

Artist: Francis Jukes (British, Hertfordshire 1747–1812 London)

Publisher: Published London by John Raphael Smith (British, baptized Derby 1751–1812 Doncaster)

Date: June 28, 1785

Medium: Engraving and aquatint

Dimensions: Sheet: 21 x 30 in. (53.3 x 76.2 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1959

Accession Number: 59.533.975


Like his predecessor William Hogarth, Rowlandson satirized Regency society in all its squalor and splendor. At this evening outdoor concert in the poshest of London's pleasure gardens, he turned the fashionable crowd of spectators into the object of amusement. In the foreground, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and her sister Lady Duncannon stand arm in arm while, at right, the Prince of Wales whispers to his mistress Mary "Perdita" Robinson. Jukes and Pollard effectively captured in aquatint the delicate tonal gradations and animated line of Rowlandson's lively watercolor.