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Ranelagh Gardens

Title
The Inside View of the Rotunda in Ranelagh Gardens with the Company at Breakfast.
Author
BOWLES, John
Publisher
Printed for J. Bowles in St Paul's Church Yard & John Bowles & Son, at the Black Horse in Cornhill,
Publication place
London,
Publication date
1754.
Dimensions
Image: 255 by 398mm (10 by 15.75 inches). Sheet: 376 by 545mm (14.75 by 21.5 inches).
Price
£150
Reference
12315

Notes

Ranelagh Gardens was one of several pleasure gardens in London, and opened in 1741. Its principal attraction was a heated rotunda designed by William Jones, modelled on the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The print shows the central fireplace with revellers eating their breakfast around it, and the dais holding musicians to the left with a large organ. The rotunda helped make Ranelagh more popular than its rival in Vauxhall, which had no indoor concert area. Ranelagh also had a better reputation, because the entry fee was higher at two shillings and sixpence, attracting a smarter clientele. The Gardens often hosted famous visiting musicians, including the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1764.

Bibliography

Adams 193.24; BM 1880,1113.2459 (different publisher); V&A S.2367-2009.