Description

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.

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