Rowlandson made his name depicting lively and often satirical scenes from contemporary life, both domestic and political. In the present watercolour he has captured the hustle and bustle outside the Angel Inn in Islington as guests arrive and depart in the capital.
The district and road junction at the end of The City Road, known as The Angel, Islington, takes its name from a once-famous coaching inn that dates from at least 1638. The Angel was one of the most common medieval inn signs and in the mid-18th Century there were twenty-three Angel Alleys and thirty Angel Courts in London. The building now stands empty and is barely noticeable on the corner of Pentonville Road and Islington High Street. The only indication of its past life is 'Angel Mews', which runs behind the building.