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Entrance from Hackney or Cambridge Heath Turnpike with a Distant View of St. Paul'sEnlarge image

Entrance from Hackney or Cambridge Heath Turnpike with a Distant View of St. Paul's, 1809

Thomas Rowlandson
British, 1756 - 1827
pen and grey and reddish-brown ink with watercolour over graphite on laid paper ?, laid down on blue heavy laid paper
29.1 x 40.4 cm
Purchased 1925
National Gallery of Canada (no. 3235)

This drawing was engraved in the series "Views of London" in 1809. Rowlandson used specific places predominantly as settings for his human comedies, filling them with richly amusing anecdotal details. In the background of this scene, a carriage barrels through the turnpike towards London, its passengers defiantly waving at the frustrated tollkeeper. At the centre of the road, a family of scampering pigs causes a near collision - the artist loved physical humour of this sort. At the far right, a woman turns from the puppet show to watch this spectacle, while two boys take advantage of the distraction to steal from her wheelbarrow. Looking on at the lower left is a man with a walking stick, who is certainly the famous Dr. Syntax, the comic hero of some of Rowlandson's most popular illustrations.

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