barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827)

Dressing for the masquerade

London, 1790

Pencil, watercolour, pen and ink on paper

 

Four women dress for a masquerade; according to a paper held by the dishevelled figure to the right, it is to be held at the Pantheon in Oxford Street.

She is disguised as a madwoman, a common guise for masqueraders; another dresses in male attire, complete with a tricorn hat. Two other fashionable women admire their exotic masks and costumes in mirrors. They are attended by the old and ugly who point up their beauty. The overturned chair in the foreground symbolises the topsy turvy world of the masquerade and the transgressive possibilities of disguise.

 

Purchased 1948 (No. 48.9)

EASTER OPENING TIMES

Learn more

Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival

Friday 18 and Friday 25 July 1.10pm

Learn more

Back to Bach

Friday 23 and Friday 30 May 1.10pm

Learn more

Zelkova Quartet

Friday 16 May 1.10pm

Learn more