Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918! Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918!
Antique prints from Darvill's since 1918 About Darvill's Rare Prints
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Thomas Rowlandson

Watercolour painter, illustrator and social carcicaturist.

He was born in London in 1756, the son of a bankrupt merchant and was educated at Dr. Barrow's School and at the RA Schools, which he entered in 1772.

He made visits to Paris in 1774 and 1777 to visit relatives and the rococo delicacy of his pen and wash drawings probably owes something to this French connection.

Rowlandson hereafter made extensive journeys on the Continent to France, Italy, Germany and Holland and in Great Britain, filling notebooks with a mixture of grotesque humanity and sylvan ideal landscapes. He often travelled with other caricaturists, notably, J. Wigstead and J. Nixon. His work is always tinted pen drawings rather than full-scale watercolour, but he changed his humorous style to do drawings after the Old Masters and figures reminiscent of Thomas Gainesborough.

He was one of the major caricaturists to become an extensive book illustrator, particularly in his work for Ackermann from 1798, in The Tours of Dr. Syntax, and The Microcosm of London in 1808.

In later life, Rowlandson's quality of work tailed off, a not surprising feature of someone who was a gambler, dissolute and naturally lazy. The later drawings often show a sloppiness and lack of interest in the subject and as countless versions of one subject exist this is not wholly surprising.

He died in London in 1827.

(from The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists, 1800-1914 by Simon Houfe)

Rowlandson Portrait

Thomas Rowlandson
(1756-1827)
Pencil sketch by George Henry Harlow, 1814

The Tours of Dr. Syntax
Written by William Combe with illustrations by Thomas Rowlandson

Original hand-coloured aquatint etchings between 150-190 years old!
From various editions between 1812 through circa 1855.

The Tours of Dr. Syntax were published many times over a period of about 80 years. Due to the nature of aquatint etchings, the plates were worn down over the years. Thus, the earlier prints, with much more detail and finer hand-colouring are generally more sought after. Our collection has etchings from the earlier editions as well as the later. Generally, the earlier edition prints will be more valuable than the later prints with less detail and more garish colouring. Below are the offerings from Darvill's Rare Prints' large collection of Dr. Syntax prints.

The sheet size of most the etchings is approximately 5.5 x 9 inches, though this does vary by edition.

Dr. Syntax in Search of the Picturesque
[the first tour]
The Reverend Doctor Syntax
The Reverend Doctor Syntax
Probably an earlier impression, some foxing, nice detail and colouring.
The Reverend Doctor Syntax
The Reverend Doctor Syntax
Probably a later impression, less detail and brighter colouring
$45
Doctor Syntax setting out on his tour of the lakes
Doctor Syntax setting out on his tour of the lakes
Probably a slightly later impression, good detail, brighter colouring
$50
Doctor Syntax losing his way
Doctor Syntax losing his way
Probably an earlier impression
(Whatman 1814 watermark on paper)
Doctor Syntax stopt by highwaymen
Doctor Syntax stopt by highwaymen
Probably an earlier impression
(Whatman 1817 watermark on paper)
$50
Doctor Syntax stopt by highwaymen
Doctor Syntax stopt by highwaymen
Probably a slightly later impression, good detail, brighter colouring
$40
Doctor Syntax bound to a tree by highwaymen
Doctor Syntax bound to a tree by highwaymen
Probably an earlier impression
$50
Doctor Syntax bound to a tree by highwaymen
Doctor Syntax bound to a tree by highwaymen
Probably a slightly later impression, good detail, brighter colouring
$40
Doctor Syntax copying the wit of the window
Doctor Syntax copying the wit of the window
Probably a later impression
$25
Doctor Syntax entertained at College
Doctor Syntax entertained at College
Probably an earlier impression
$65
Doctor Syntax entertained at College
Doctor Syntax entertained at College
Probably a slightly later impression
$50
Doctor Syntax pursued by a bull
Doctor Syntax pursued by a bull
Probably a slightly later impression
 
Doctor Syntax mistakes a Gentleman's House for an Inn
Doctor Syntax mistakes a Gentleman's House for an Inn
Probably a later impression
$25
Doctor Syntax meditating on the tomb-stones
Doctor Syntax meditating on the tomb-stones
Probably an earlier impression, some foxing and grubbiness in margins
$35
Doctor Syntax meditating on the tomb-stones
Doctor Syntax meditating on the tomb-stones
Probably a slightly later impression, good detail, brighter colouring
$35
Doctor Syntax meditating on the tomb-stones
Doctor Syntax meditating on the tomb-stones
Probably a later impression, tear in lower right margin outside of image
$25
Doctor Syntax tumbling into the water
Doctor Syntax tumbling into the water
Probably an earlier impression
$45
Doctor Syntax tumbling into the water
Doctor Syntax tumbling into the water
Probably a slightly later impression
$35
Doctor Syntax tumbling into the water
Doctor Syntax tumbling into the water
Probably a later impression
$25
Doctor Syntax loses his money at the race-ground at York
Doctor Syntax loses his money at the race-ground at York
Probably an earlier impression, some foxing/grubbiness in margins
$55
Doctor Syntax loses his money at the race-ground at York
Doctor Syntax loses his money at the race-ground at York
Probably a slightly later impression, some foxing/grubbiness in margins
$50
Doctor Syntax loses his money at the race-ground at York
Doctor Syntax loses his money at the race-ground at York
Probably a later impression
$45
Doctor Syntax at a review
Doctor Syntax at a review
Probably an earlier impression
$50
Doctor Syntax at a review
Doctor Syntax at a review
Probably a later impression
$35
Doctor Syntax with my lord
Doctor Syntax with my lord
Probably a later impression
$35
Doctor Syntax with my lord
Doctor Syntax with my lord
Probably a later impression. NOTE: there are vertical strips of rust on the BACK of the print that show through just slightly to the front...not terribly obtrusive or noticeable.
$25
Doctor Syntax made free of the cellar
Doctor Syntax made free of the cellar
Probably an earlier impression
(Whatman watermark on paper—18??)
$50
Doctor Syntax sketching the lake
Doctor Syntax sketching the lake
Probably an earlier impression
$60
Doctor Syntax robb'd of his property
Doctor Syntax robb'd of his property
Probably an earlier impression
$45
Doctor Syntax robb'd of his property
Doctor Syntax robb'd of his property
Probably a slightly later impression—good detail, brighter colouring
$35
Doctor Syntax robb'd of his property
Doctor Syntax robb'd of his property
Probably a later impression
$25
Doctor Syntax sells Grizzle
Doctor Syntax sells Grizzle
Probably a slightly later impression—good detail, brighter colouring
$45
Doctor Syntax sells Grizzle
Doctor Syntax sells Grizzle
Probably a later impression. Some foxing.
$20
Doctor Syntax Rural Sports
Doctor Syntax — Rural Sports
Earlier impression
$60
Doctor Syntax at Liverpool
Doctor Syntax at Liverpool
Probably an earlier impression (partial Whatman watermark on paper)
Some foxing/grubbiness in margin; repaired short tear lower margin
$40
Doctor Syntax at Liverpool
Doctor Syntax at Liverpool
Probably a slightly later impression
$40
Doctor Syntax at Liverpool
Doctor Syntax at Liverpool
Probably a later impression
$25
Syntax Preaching
Syntax Preaching
Probably the earliest impression (1812 in publisher's tagline) but not the strongest. Some foxing/grubbiness in margins mostly.
$40
Syntax Preaching
Syntax Preaching
Also an earlier impression (1817 in publisher's tagline) and somewhat stronger than the earlier one from 1812, above right.
$40
Syntax Preaching
Dr. Syntax Preaching
A slightly later impression with good detail, brighter colouring
$40
Dr. Syntax & Bookseller
Dr. Syntax & Bookseller
An earlier impression (1819 in publisher's tagline)
Dr. Syntax & Bookseller
Dr. Syntax & Bookseller
Probably a slightly later impression
$40
Dr. Syntax & Bookseller
Dr. Syntax & Bookseller
Probably a later impression
$25
Dr. Syntax at Covent Garden Theatre
Dr. Syntax at Covent Garden Theatre
Probably a later impression
$35
The Doctor's Dream
The Doctor's Dream
An earlier impression (1819 in publisher's tagline). Some foxing
$50
The Doctor's Dream
The Doctor's Dream
An earlier impression (1815 in publisher's tagline) but weaker than the one to left with lighter colouring.
$40
Dr. Syntax returned from his Tour
Dr. Syntax returned from his Tour
An earlier impression (1819 in publisher's tagline). Some foxing
$50
Dr. Syntax returned from his Tour
Dr. Syntax returned from his Tour
Probably a later impression
$40
Dr. Syntax taking possession of his living
Dr. Syntax taking possession of his living
An earlier impression (1819 in publisher's tagline). Some foxing
$50
Dr. Syntax taking possession of his living
Dr. Syntax taking possession of his living
Probably a later impression
$35

(The Second Tour of Dr. Sytax. In Search of Consolation.)

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