The State Watchman Discovered by the Genius of Britain Studying Plans for the Reduction of America
Rowlandson's name does not appear on this print, but the leading expert on eighteenth-century satires, Dorothy George, attributed it to him on the basis of style. The image responds to the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, battle that ended the Revolutionary War. Either George III (or his prime minister Lord North) dozes at center on a sofa near the alarmed figure of Britannia who asks, "Am I thus Protected?" If the sleeper is North, the small man who says "Hello Neighbour! what are you asleep" may represent Sir Grey Parole, designated to sit next to North in Parliament and wake the minister during long debates if he dozed off.
Attributed to Thomas Rowlandson (British, London 1757–1827 London)
English painter and caricaturist, Thomas Rowlandson (13 July 1756 – 21 April 1827) was noted for his political satire and social observation. The son of a tradesman, Rowlandson became a student in the Royal Academy. At age 16 he went to study in Paris. After establishing a studio as a portrait painter, he began to draw caricatures to supplement his income, and this soon became his major interest. Like other contemporary caricaturists, he produced erotica which was censured by the 1840s. He created comic images of familiar social types of his day and also wrote satirical verse under the pen name of Peter Pindar. His characters ranged from the ridiculous, pretentious, enormous bosoms and bottoms.