Full image caption
Rout at the Dowager Duchess of Portland' by Thomas Rowlandson. Caricature watercolour of a tea party at the London residence of Margaret, Dowager Duchess of Portland (1714-1785) where the central action is of a liveried page being attacked by a dog and dropping a tray of full tea cups into the lap of two startled and screaming women. The Dowager Duchess, widow of the 2nd Duke, was a naturalist and botanist and kept a menagerie of animals, which may well have included troublesome pets but she is principally known as a noted collector. This is reflected in this watercolour in the glazed cabinet which displays many highly ornamented china objects. There are also four heavily framed, large scale history paintings on the wall. The company is mixed and includes young and old, a flirting couple, two plump and coquettish women and a declaiming person.
© Museum of London