12.5 x 16 inches
A mezzotint droll in original hand colour, published by Carington Bowles in London circa 1780.
Drolls were very popular prints in the latter half of the Eighteenth Century: usually small in scale, predominantly produced in mezzotint and always either humorous or sentimental in subject. They became a very popular way of decorating alongside more formal portraiture and topography and give us a fascinating insight into the fashions, furnishings and frivolities of the late Georgian era.
In this adorable study we see a fashionably dressed lady gathering grapes from the kitchen garden wall. Her wealthy status is made clear by the elaborate nature of her gown, the implausibly fancy hat and the expensive satin shoe seen peeping from beneath her fulsome frock. In the distance a stately pile reinforces her aristocratic credentials. This is an early impression of the print before publication line and prior to the French text that would have been added to the right of the existing title. As such it has great clarity and has been coloured with the utmost care.