Art: Loving Lampoons

Next to his work, which was turning out drawings and watercolors, Thomas Rowlandson liked to drink; and next to drinking, he liked to gamble. It was said of him that he once stood at a gaming table for nearly 36 hours without pausing to eat or sleep. He was apparently never very lucky, but that did not matter.

"I have played the fool," he would say when all his money was gone, "but here is my resource." Then he would hold up a pencil—and everyone in the room would know that with that and a...

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