The Consultation, c. 1785
pen and greyish-brown ink with wash over graphite on laid paper, laid down on heavy laid paper
18.4 x 25.5 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 5205)
In his spare pen line, emphasis on contour, and fascination with grotesque minutiae, Rowlandson displays his indebtedness to the Italian inventors of the art of caricature. This drawing, engraved in 1785, is an early example of Rowlandson's comic art. A half dozen physicians discuss the diagnosis of a patient whose presence seems almost superfluous to the consultation, less necessary in fact than his ability to pay their exorbitant fees.