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)

The Barber Concert Series at Seventy

The Barber Concert Series at Seventy

Learn more

University Baroque Orchestra

Sunday 15 November 2015 3pm

Learn more

Qur’an Manuscript to be displayed at the Barber

Learn more

Academy of Ancient Music: Vivaldi in Dresden

18 May 2016 7.30pm

Learn more