Thomas Rowlandson, An entertainment in Vauxhall Gardens in c.1779 . This group portrait depicts one of the most fashionable of London’s pleasure gardens.
Rowlandson, a cartoonist, had a great insight into celebrity doings of the late 18th century. In one his more famous prints, Vauxhall Gardens, he congregates all the big social players of London at the time. Although the two definitions can overlap, the difference between celebrities and historical figures is that celebrities fame is short-lived and they can be forgotten over time. One of the things about “Vauxhall Gardens” is seeing celebrities of the time and historical figures who just faded into obscurity and now are just a random name on a page.
At the right, the Prince of Wales, the future George IV, whispers to his lover, the actress Perdita Robinson. Under the central tree figures include Captain Topham, owner and editor of the World, the Duchess of Devonshire and the Lady Bessborough, the Admiral Paisley on the Duchess’s right as well as Sir Henry Bate- Dudley, editor of the Morning Herald and James Perry, editor of the Morning Chronicle, - in Highland dress - under the tree.#Vauxhall Gardens #Thomas Rowlandson