Military, Bethnal Green Volunteer, Light Infantry, Support Arms, #15, Rowlandson Thomas, 1799
Artist: Rowlandson, Thomas
Engraver: Rowlandson, Thomas
Paper Size: 250 x 330mm
Print Size: 205 x 255
Technique: Copperplate Engraving made into an Aquatint
This military print is from an aquatint drawn and etched by Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827) on cream background
This print from was taken from an aquatint drawn and etched by Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827), for Loyal Volunteers, London & Environs, Infantry & Cavalry, in their respective Uniforms. Representing the whole of the Manual, Platoon, & Funeral Exercise.. This Illuminated School of Mars, or Review of the Loyal Volunteer Corps of London and its vicinity.., originally published in London c1799 by Rudolf Ackermann.
This work serves as a record of an overwhelming show of loyalty, as well as of the uniforms of all the main volunteer forces. In addition, Rowlandson pictures each individual in a particular drill position, the name and details of which are given in the engraved text beneath each figure.
Rowlandson here presents some of his most elegant and effective work in terms of pure print-making. The result is arguably the greatest of all military costume works, in that it ascends beyond being a mere record of uniforms to become an elegy to patriotism, an important social document and a cohesive work of art, all produced at a time of great national peril.
The British Volunteers
The wars for supremacy throughout the Continent and Great Britain raged for many, many years. The early 1800’s found England in the possession of a large body of Volunteers who were raised in a hurry and intended only to meet a sudden emergency at home.
The British Volunteer force came about as a response to the threat of attack from the
Continent. The volunteer force was a part-time organisation for the sole purpose of home defence in the event of an invasion. As a country, Britain lived under the constant fear that an attack was imminent
The British army was heavily deployed across European and troops at home were very few and far between. In 1794 the British government under George111, was threatened with invasion by the French Revolutionary Army.
To read more about the British Volunteer Corps visit here.
Tomas Rowlandson: 13 July 1757 – 21 April 1827) was an English artist and caricaturist of the Georgian Era, noted for his political satire and social observation. A prolific artist and printmaker, Rowlandson produced both individual social and political satires, as well as large number of illustrations for novels, humorous books, and topographical works. Like other caricaturists of his age, his caricatures are often robust or bawdy. Rowlandson also produced highly explicit erotica for a private clientele; this was never published publicly at the time and is now only found in a small number of collections. His caricatures included those of people in power at the time.
One of his works was the uniforms of the Military Volunteers
To learn more about Thomas Rowlandson: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Rowlandson