Pastime in Portugal or a Visit to the Nunnerys
13.5 x 9.5 inches
An etching in original hand colour by Thomas Rowlandson; published in London by Tegg in 1811.
In this amusing scene a handsome army officer visits a nunnery where he fondles the fine silk purses offered for sale by an attractive but demure novice nun. Her companion is less reserved and looks adoringly at the young buck, oblivious to the disapproving look of her Mother Superior. Meanwhile, the officer's lecherous companion ogles the nuns through his magnifying glass. The imposing grills on the nunnery door prevent any indiscretions and keep the ardour of all in check!
Thomas Rowlandson was born in London in 1756 and during his lifetime became one of the most influential and admired caricaturist of all time. He was born the son of a bankrupt merchant but due to his artistic talents he was able to study at the schools of the Royal Academy. He rapidly excelled as both a draughtsman and an engraver and was to become an accomplished master in both etching and aquatinting. He lived and worked in London and it was here that he drew inspiration for his work. He earned his living by etching single plates, sets of sporting prints, innumerable caricatures and book illustrations. Rowlandson worked for the most prominent publishers of his day including S. W. Fores, Rudolph Ackermann and T. Tegg. He was not good with money and squandered most of his inheritance and earnings on gambling. He died in 1827, leaving behind him a monumental body of work and a wonderful legacy to future caricaturists.