The Lock-upEnlarge image

The Lock-up, 1790

Thomas Rowlandson
British, 1756 - 1827
pen and grey and brown ink with grey and brown wash and watercolour over graphite on wove paper
32.7 x 31.1 cm
Purchased 1925
National Gallery of Canada (no. 3232)

A whole Hogarthian moral history is recounted in Rowlandson's caricature. A night watchman - his coat, lantern, and rattle are hanging on the wall behind the soldier - has brought this motley crew of two prostitutes, an old bawd or alewife, and a drunken soldier into the Watch House.Their future is suggested by another detail on the wall behind the bawd: a graffito of a corpse swinging on a gibbet. The standing prostitute with her extravagantly beplumed and beribboned hat, viewed from the rear, is a comic tribute to Fuseli's trademark back-views. In this "stained" or "tinted" drawing, Rowlandson's pen line is elegant and flowing, becoming more animated at the focal point: the juxtaposition of the bawd's and soldier's heads, which are surrounded by a swirl of calligraphic fireworks.


Prints & Drawings


No Audio


No Media

Library and Archives

Search for catalogue entries


No Extras