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Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827)

The School of Eloquence (The Grand Debating Society)

Pen with brown ink and traces of pencil | 29.5 x 49.7 cm (sheet of paper) (sheet of paper) | RCIN 913719

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This is one of Rowlandson’s earliest surviving drawings. It shows a meeting of the School of Eloquence, one of the many debating societies which were popular in London at this time. The topic of the School’s debate may be hinted at by the print, State of the Nation, seen pasted to the wall at the top right. Rowlandson’s early drawings owe a strong debt to the style of John Hamilton Mortimer. Purchased by George IV when Prince Regent, 1812 Cat. 1