Lady surrounded by her pets
Thomas Rowlandson (1757 - 1827)
Width: 21.9 cm; Height: 28.1 cm;
Collector's mark, collector's mark of Sir Robert Witt (L.2228b)
Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt, Robert Clermont (Sir); bequest; 1952
About this work
By the eighteenth century, the keeping of animals for pleasure or companionship was commonplace, especially in towns, where they were less likely to be needed for functional purposes. Cage-birds were particularly popular. Rowlandson shows a grand lady, seated on a throne-like chair with her monkey at her ear, holding court over parrots, doting dogs and even a wild squirrel among other 'curiosities'. The man supporting the cage possibly alludes to the collecting impulse among the fashionable classes.
(Permanent collection label)
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Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London