Thomas Rowlandson 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 such as James Gillray, 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 such as the Duchess of Devonshire, William Pitt the Younger and Napoleon Bonaparte.
Rowlandson’s designs were usually done in outline with the reed-pen, and delicately washed with colour. They were then etched by the artist on the copper, and afterwards aquatinted—usually by a professional engraver, the impressions being finally coloured by hand. As a designer he was characterised by his facility and ease of draughtsmanship. He dealt less frequently with politics than his fierce contemporary, Gillray, but commonly touching, in a rather gentle spirit, the various aspects and incidents of social life.