London: T. Malton, 1791. Item #02894
"Who'er has travell'd life's dull round,
Through all its various paths hath been,
Must oft have wondered to have found
His warmest welcome at an inn!"
ROWLANDSON, Thomas. MALTON, James. Inn Yard on Fire. Drawn & Etchd. by T. Rowlandson. Aquatinta by T. Malton. [London, 1791]. A Magnificent hand-colored aquatint (image size 20 1/2 x 15 3/4 inches; 397 x 518 mm.).
Etched by Rowlandson, aquatinted by Malton. Matted, framed and glazed.
(Frame size: 29 1/2 x 24 3/4 inches; 747 x 630 mm.).
"The ardent house-warming prepared for the passengers at the Inn Yard on Fire barely justifies the rapture of the rhymer. From the notice-board we find the Dover, Deal, Margate and Canterbury Coaches are advertised to set out from the caravansary in question. The strangers are rudely disturbed, while the flames are lapping the old building and serpentining their way round the inflammable wooden balconies, as the suddenly awakened inmates take to flight with such solitary articles as come first to hand. The entire population of the building has fled into the coach yard - men and women in various (and amusing) states of dress and undress abound - wild horses - piglets and their mama sow stampede - fire roars from the windows at upper left. A sufferer from gout is being conveyed in a wheel barrow out of the imminent danger of being roasted alive…an antiquated husband is holding a ladder for the escape of his pretty wife; the curmudgeon is furious that the personal attractions of his better half should be thus displayed to the less privileged males around, who are assisting her delicate descent. The dangers of the fire are increased by the reckless impulse characteristic of similar casualties, in which blazing objects are hurled out of the window, spreading the flames to places which have hitherto escaped ignition. Mirrors and tablets, sheets and other objects, are sent flying from the upper galleries on to the heads of the scared travellers below…" (Joseph Grego, Rowlandson the Caricaturist).