12th Nov 2009

Brocas and Rowlandson – I think I’ve cracked it

Regarding yesterday’s post about a cartoon that’s credited to both Henry Brocas and Thomas Rowlandson, I think I’ve figured it out.

According to this potted biography, Dublin printer John Exshaw started out importing English magazines, and then started publishing his own – Exshaw’s London Magazine, later Exshaw’s London and Gentleman’s Magazine, reprinted material from the London Magazine and the Gentleman’s Magzine, alongside original material of Irish interest.  This was in the days when illustrations were printed by woodblock. If Exshaw wanted to reprint a cartoon from one of his English magazines, he would need either to get hold of the original blocks, or get the cartoon re-engraved. Brocas was, among other things, an engraver. So Brocas’s “The Loves of the Fox and the Badger”, published in Exshaw’s Magazine in 1784, is very likely to be a re-engraving of Rowlandson’s cartoon of the same name and the same year.

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