John Kay (1742-1826) was an apprenticed barber at 13, in 1771 managed to obtained the freedom to the city of Edinburgh when he joined the corporation of the barber-surgeons. In 1784 he published his first caricature and in the following year he opened a small print shop in the Royal Mile. He flourished with his sketches, and eventually published caricatures of local characters and odd folk that emerged from the Scottish Age of Enlightenment.
In 1792 Thomas Holcroft (1745-1809) wrote "Road to Ruin - a Comedy in Five Acts". He was influenced by the social reform of the period and sympathetic to the cause for the French Revolution. It is a Political and personal satirical opportunity that would have appealed to John Kay who cast Edinburgh personalities in satire character; the lady as the fashionable widow in Holcroft's play 'The Road to Ruin', standing on the left, holding a small object in front of her, with the man standing next to her, looking towards the viewer, holding a cane in his right hand, his right leg raised.
Condition = Excellent printed on flax & hemp wove paper.
Size of paper = 19.6 x 25.8cm (7 2/3 x 10 1/4 inches) / Platemark = 13 x 20cm (5 1/6 x 8 inches)