Original watercolor designed by James Dunthorne II (ca. 1758 – ca. 1792-93) later etched by Thomas Rowlandson, Mar. 1, 1788. Original unsigned watercolor and pen-and-ink drawing on paper for Rowlandson’s etching, The Hypochondriac. 32 cm x 51.5 cm. Unrestored, original state.
Manuscript text on verso, underneath a partially stuck sheet of backing paper in an eighteenth century hand:
The mind disemper’d – s[ay, what potent charm,]
Can Fancy’s spectre-brood[ing rage disarm?]
Physics prescriptive, art [assails in vain,]
The dreadful phantoms [floating cross the brain!]
Until with Esculapian [skill, the sage M.D.]
Finds out at length by [self-taught palmistry,]
The hopeless case – [in the reluctant fee,]
Then, not in torture such [a wretch to keep]
One pitying bolus lays [him sound asleep.’]
The bracketed text is still partially concealed under a partially unstuck backing sheet. There is a second, longer text in manuscript on the right-hand side of the verso, suggesting this image may have been intended for a secondary purpose.
There is damp-staining, soiling and a fold-separation down the center of the drawing, suggesting the original painting was done on two con-joined sheets.
Copies of Rowlandson’s etching are found in the Royal Collection Trust and in Princeton University’s Graphic Arts Collection. Follow these links:
Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827) – The Hypochondriac. (rct.uk)
A hypochondriac’s choices | Graphic Arts (princeton.edu)
Thomas Rowlandson 26 Hand-colored Plates The Dance of Life a Poem 1817 First Edition Paul Francis Webster Copy
Rowlandson Combe The Grand Master or Adventures of Qui-Hi 1816