Place de Mier at Antwerp


In 1791-1792, Thomas Rowlandson visited the Low Countries and Northern Germany in the company of his patron the banker Matthew Michell (1751-1817). This aquatint in the King’s Topographical Collection is after the sketches he made at the time was published by Rowlandson’s other main patron, Rudolf Ackermann (1764-1834), in 1797. Rowlandson’s view of Meir in Antwerp focuses on the hustle and bustle of a popular street market, where housewives, servants and sellers haggle by the grocery stalls and passers-by gather around the makeshift stage set up by a street-entertainer. Despite the apparent familiarity of the scene, Rowlandson introduces some elements to emphasise its foreignness, such as the friars and nuns in the foreground or the crucifix dominating the street.

Full title:
PLACE DE MIER AT ANTWERP. / Rowlandson delin.t ; Wright & Schutz Sculp.t.
1 August 1797, The Strand, London
Rudolph Ackermann
Etching / Aquatint / View
Heinrich Joseph Schutz, John Wright, Thomas Rowlandson
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Maps K.Top.103.58.n.

Full catalogue details

Related articles

A royal armchair traveller: The Grand Tour and the King’s Topographical Collection

Article by:
Mercedes Cerón
Antiquarianism, Town and city, Science and nature

George III never visited Italy. Instead he collected prints, drawings and guidebooks enabling him to travel virtually to antiquity's greatest architectural and artistic sites. Mercedes Cerón explores this rich collection of Grand Tour material to shed light on George III's particular brand of armchair tourism.

Itinerant view takers

Article by:
Ann Payne
Antiquarianism, Country

Ann Payne, former Curator of Manuscripts at the British Library, outlines how topographical views were often the result of artists touring in Britain and beyond.

The picturesque at home and abroad

Article by:
Carl Thompson

The ‘picturesque’ – an aesthetic ideal introduced in the 18th century – was one of Britain’s most influential cultural movements. Picturesque places were depicted widely in prints and drawings, published in engraving series and as illustrations to books, poems or travel guides. With reference to selected British Library collection items, Carl Thompson explores how the picturesque was employed to depict Britain’s domestic and imperial landscapes.

Related collection items