Object number : BATVG : PD : 2000.6

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Thomas Rowlandson was one of the foremost comic artists of the Georgian period. He is best known for his social satires, but also produced portraits, marine paintings and landscapes. Rowlandson is thought to have visited Bath with the amateur caricaturist John Nixon.

Rowlandson's series 'The Comforts of Bath' was published in 1798. Satirising life and society in Bath, the twelve prints encompassed all the essential elements of a fashionable person's stay in the city: going to a ball, taking the waters, gambling, and eating good food.

This print shows a group of wealthy people attending a concert. Whilst many members of the audience are rapt with attention, others are busy flirting and gossiping rather than listening to the music, and some simply seem bored.

The singer in this caricature is thought to be Madame Mara, a celebrated German soprano who gave several performances at Bath during the period when Rauzzini was musical director at the Baths.

Many well known musicians performed in Bath. Large public concerts were held regularly, for example charity concerts to raise money for the construction of the Mineral Water Hospital. These performances were an important part of Bath's social scene, and many people visited them simply to be seen in cultured society.

Many private concerts were held too. Rich patrons would pay Bath’s musicians to come and perform at private parties and gatherings in their own homes.

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Location status : Available to view by appointment