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Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827)

Dressing for a Masquerade. 1 Apr 1790

Hand-coloured etching | 37.7 x 50.0 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 810382

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Masquerades – masked and costumed balls with a scandalous undercurrent of sexual freedom – were both popular and castigated in the eighteenth century. Attendees ranged from prostitutes plying for trade to the Prince of Wales. Rowlandson here shows a group of women putting on fancy dress in a disordered room which reflects the disreputable nature of the event. Purchased by George IV when Prince of Wales, 1790 Cat. 31