The Chinese House, the Rotunda, & the Company in Masquerade in Renelagh Gardens.[parallel text in Fernch]
Printed for John Bowles at the Black Horse in Cornhill, & Carington Bowles in St Pauls Church Yard, London [n.d., c.1750]
Line engraving with hand-colouring, watermarked paper 18th century; platemark 285 x 410mm (11¼ x 16"). Small margins; staining; very good colour.
Ranelagh Gardens, adjoining Wren's Chelsea Pensioner's Hospital, became popular as a place to escape the city and take in the cleaner air in Chelsea. Its admirers included Smollett, Edward Gibbon, Horace Walpole and the Duke of Cumberland. Balls, concerts, dinners and of course gossip were shared here almost daily. It quickly exceeded Vauxhall in popularity, but it's popularity waned until the season of 1804 when the fashionable set abandoned it entirely. During the masquerade depicted here, participants were disguised or in fancy dress, often favouring Oriental costume. This Oriental taste was reflected by Ranelagh's 'China House' created in 1750. The rococo rotunda, built by William Jones, was 150ft in diameter and heated by a large fireplace. Mozart once played at the orchestra stand inside it. After one of several pictures of the area which Antonio Canaletto (1697 - 1768) painted while resident in London.
[Ref: 37212] £380.00