Introduction: Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) was one of England’s most recognizable caricaturists and is little appreciated in medicine. He is overshadowed perhaps historically by his rival William Hogarth (1697-1764) but he has a certain appeal to urology in his numerous depictions of British penii. The word penii is a British slang humorous reference to multiple penises. There exist multiple compendia of Rowlandson's artworks, commentaries and even a short biography. Almost none of his works though are quoted by medical historians.
Methods: A review of the literature of all aspects of the works of Thomas Rowlandson with special attention to his more obscure sexual images. We also paid significant attention to his depiction of medicine and surgery as well as anatomy of his time. The Wellcome Library in London as well as the British Museum also provided invaluable assistance in finding many more esoteric works by Rowlandson.
Results: Caricature is a satirical artform widely utilized since the Renaissance as a reflection upon the mores of society, in this instance, the Georgian era of England. Since this artform is a cross between art and humor they reflect intently some of the foibles and humorous thoughts of the times in which they were created and printed. There are always two sides to the caricature- the caricaturist and the subject.
Conclusions: Rowlandson was a prolific Georgian artist whose life stretched across the loss of the American colonies by England, the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon. He was singularly recognized in his own time by his “topical caricatures” and was collected by the Royal Family. He appears to have been fascinated by English sexual practice and portrayed the British penis avidly and often and deserves a resurrection of sorts, especially in sexual medicine and urology.