Thomas Rowlandson (13 July 1756 - 22 April 1827) was and English artist born in Old Jewry, in the City of London. He is well known for his caricatures and also produced many fine erotic prints during the early 1800s.
On leaving school he became a student at the Royal Academy. At the age of sixteen, he lived and studied for a time in Paris. In 1775 he exhibited a drawing of Delilah visiting Samson in Prison, and in the following years he was represented by various portraits and landscapes. He was spoken of as a promising student; and was expected to go on to great things.
Rowlandson began his career mostly with oils but soon turned to the more convenient mediums of watercolor and engravings which he specialized in throughout his life. So prolific was he, that his obituarist W H Pyne commented that Rowlandson "had etched as much copper as would sheathe the whole British Navy"! All was going well for Thomas Rowlandson until he inherited £7,000 from his aunt in 1798. The money turned into a curse as Rowlandson had a taste for indulgence and with the money he would waste obscene amounts gambling, drinking and on prostitutes until within a decade he was penniless and broken.
It was around this time Thomas Rowlandson produced his series of erotic engravings. Today they are mostly housed in the George IV collection at Windsor Castle in England, and it is believed the prints may have even been made for George IV while he was serving as Prince Regent. Examples of Rowlandson's erotic prints can also be found in the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.