S is for Satirist

By HOGARTH, William, 1751 
£500
£400

[Boys Peeping at Nature]

Ephemera
  • Author: HOGARTH, William
  • Publication place: [London
  • Publication date: 1751]
  • Physical description: Engraved subscription ticket with etched vignette, on laid paper
  • Dimensions: (sheet) 180 by 230mm (7 by 9 inches); (plate) 155 by 130mm (6 by 5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 17705

Notes

Unused subscription ticket for William Hogarth’s prints Moses brought to Pharaoh’s Daughter’ and St Paul before Felix’. Hogarth’s Boys Peeping at Nature’ is a pastiche of a life class”, and shows three putti painting, drawing and etching the likeness of a statue of the many-breasted Diana of Ephesus. The image was first used to record subscriptions for Hogarth’s series A Harlot’s Progress’ in 1731, then for The Four Times of the Day’ and Strolling Actresses’. In the earlier iterations, the putti in the center of the image is sneaking a peek up Diana’s dress. This fourth state of ticket was reprinted on wove paper in 1822.

The ticket reads: Receiv’d […] of […] 5 Shillings being the first Payment for two large Prints one representing Moses brought to Pharoah’s Daughter, The other St. Paul before Felix. wch. I Promise to Deliver when finish’d, on Receiving 5 Shillings more./N.B. They will be Seven and Six Pence each Print, after the time of subscribing”.

William Hogarth (1697–1764), the celebrated satirical artist and printmaker, and a number of series of engravings on moral subjects, including, most famously, The Harlot’s Progress’ (1732), and The Rake’s Progress’ (1735).

Bibliography

  1. BM Satires, Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum’, 1943
  2. BM 1857, 0509.18
  3. Paulson Hogarth’s Graphic Works’, 1989

Image gallery

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