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‘Pass-room, Bridewell’, print, London, England, 1808

Bridewell Hospital was a ‘house of correction’: a prison for the homeless, criminals, unmarried mothers and prostitutes. To prevent inmates re-offending and to ‘correct’ their wrong-doings, they were made to do hard physical labour – some were subjected to beatings. This print shows women and young children, with straw filled stalls to sleep in. 'Bridewell’ became the general name for houses of correction throughout England. The hospital remained open from 1553 to 1855. This print appeared as one in a series of illustrations looking at London’s architecture called The Microcosm of London, published 1808-1810. The buildings were drawn by Augustus Charles Pugin (c. 1762-1832), a French draughtsman, and the figures were drawn by Thomas Rowlandson (1764-1834), a celebrated British caricaturist.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: print

Pictorial works produced by transferring images by means of a matrix such as a plate, block, or screen, using any of various printing processes. When emphasizing the individual printed image, use "impressions." Avoid the controversial expression "original prints," except in reference to discussions of the expression's use. If prints are neither "reproductive prints" nor "popular prints," use just "prints."

Glossary: aquatint

prints produced where resin or other substance is applied to a plate to make a porous ground, and the plate is then heated and etched, producing a range of tonal value; often combined with line work