A chemist and his assistant as "puffers" heating a substance in a retort; representing a theatre critic who "puffs" the actor Joseph Holman at the bidding of his editor. Etching attributed to T. Rowlandson, ca. 1786.
- Rowlandson, Thomas, 1756-1827.
- [ca. 1786]
About this picture
The clergyman in the part of the alchemist is identified in the British Museum catalogue as Rev. William Jackson (1737?-1795), editor of the Morning post. He is feeding a man in a tie-wig who should be Jackson's theatre critic: John Taylor (1757-1832), member of a family of ophthalmic surgeons, oculist to King George III and Jackson's successor as editor (though this man does not closely resemble the etched portrait of Taylor by George Dance). Out of the still flies the actor Joseph George Holman as the product of their puffery. According to the Oxford dictionary of national biography, in 1786 "Holman left Covent Garden owing to a dispute over salary, and acted in Dublin and in the principal English and Scottish towns; but he soon returned to his former theatre"
[London] : [publisher not identified], [ca. 1786]
1 print : etching ; image and lettering 20.7 x 29.3 cm
A theatrical chymist.
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