• Full title:   A View of the Rotunda House & Gardens at Ranelagh with an exack representation of the Jubilee Ball as it appeared May 24th 1759 being the Birth Day of his Royal Highness George Prince of Wales
  • Published:   estimated 1759
  • Formats:  Print, Image
  • Creator:   Nathaniel Parr, Canaletto
  • Usage terms Public Domain
  • Held by  British Library
  • Shelfmark:   840.m.28.

Description

This is a picture of Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens, which, from their opening in 1742, attracted a more respectable, wealthy clientele owing to the relatively high admission price. Pleasure gardens in general though were notable for the surprising degree of social mixing that went on, all the more so in a society that was noted for its otherwise rigid class structure and social segregation. Situated on the south bank of the Thames, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, for example, attracted both rich and poor visitors alike, who for the fixed entrance price of just one shilling came to indulge in the delights on offer there: to listen to the orchestras or to watch the dances for example, or to simply stroll along the avenues and explore the various tree-lined walks. Elsewhere in London, smaller pleasure gardens similarly appealed to the Georgian taste for the pastoral idyll: at Marylebone, for example, with its grand concerts and special confectioneries, or Sadler’s Wells, renowned for its pantomimes, tumblers and acrobatic acts.

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