Begging for Alms, c. 1805
pen and reddish-brown ink with watercolour over graphite on wove paper, laid down on greenish-grey laid paper
30.4 x 22.3 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 3234)
When he wasn't lampooning the buffoonery of the lower classes, Rowlandson turned his satiric attention to the wicked excesses of the upper classes. Here, a man of ample means brushes away a destitute mother of two. With her exposed breast and clinging infants, the woman looks ironically like the traditional symbol of Christian charity.