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Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts
Rowlandson's World In Miniature was his contribution to the numerous drawing books and instruction manuals published in his time, aimed at the amateur market and apprentices. By 1816, landscape drawing was a phenomenon in England, with all of fashionable society expected to either speak eloquently on the subject, own a collection of landscape drawings and prints, or produce examples of their own.
Rowlandson's work was originally issued in parts. This copy is bound with the original wrapper to the second part, which acts as a title-page. It is lettered "No.2 / Rowlandson's / World in Miniature / consisting of / Groups of Figures / for the / Illustration of Landscape Scenery / Drawn and Etched / by T. Rowlandson", with publication details and price.
The book shows Rowlandson's delight in the ordinary social interactions of his contemporaries and is a celebration of English life in the countryside. The scenes are all provincial, often with 2 or 3 per page, and, while occasionally touched in humour, are in no way caricatured. His balanced, believable figures sit comfortably in their environment and are filled with movement, giving his scenes a sense of spontaneity and authenticity.