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Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827)

A Midnight Conversation c.1780

Pen and black ink with watercolour over pencil | 29.5 x 44.3 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 913713

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This early drawing, made shortly after Rowlandson left the Royal Academy Schools, pokes fun at the ‘Conversation Piece’, a fashionable form of group portrait. Here, a drunken, debauched party is shown in the private room of a tavern. Many of the motifs are copied from prints by Hogarth, among them the lounging man to the left, who is taken from 'A Rake’s Progress'. Purchased by George IV when Prince Regent, 1812. Cat. 2