This is the only signed and dated version of three. The original, exhibited at the Society of Artists 1783, no.223, is probably that illustrated by Hayes, op.cit., pp. 12 and 13 as in the collection of Dr. Joseph R. Goldyne; this was sold at Sotheby's 14 March 1985, lot 93 (#85,000), repr. in colour, and measures 14 1/8 x 20¾in. The third version, 9¼ x 21 1/8in., is in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (Paul Mellon Collection; repr. English Caricature 1620 up to the Present Day, exhibition catalogue, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1984, no.83).
The view shows the statue of Louis XIV, erected by the Duke de la Feuillade in 1686 and destroyed during the French Revolution. Rowlandson ridiculed the French by showing a poodle wearing a wig being taught to dance by a shoeblack with an admirer of the King being pushed along by two chairmen, and a procession of monks. The towers of Notre Dame would not have been visible from this point but were introduced to confirm that the scene is in Paris.
The date 1789 on the reverse is that of the engraving by S. Alken