Pleasure gardens were the great melting pots of 18th-century society and centres for public entertainment. First opened in 1746, Ranelagh Gardens in Chelsea boasted acres of formal gardens and tree-lined promenades. Visitors came to admire the Chinese Pavilion, watch the fountain of mirrors and attend musical concerts held in the great 200-foot-wide Rotunda. Originally designed to appeal to wealthier tastes, pleasure gardens soon became the haunt of the rich and poor alike, where both aristocrats and tradesmen enjoyed spectacles side by side. This engraving in the King’s Topographical Collection is after a view by Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto. Revellers in masquerade and harlequin costumes can be seen at either side of the Chinese Pavilion with the Rotunda in the background.