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William Hogarth original print, Time Smoking a Picture, 1761, unframed

Stock Code: 93786-201806071027


Size: Size of sheet 21 x 27 cm, print (to plate mark) 18.4 x 24.6 cm 

Age: Original engraving 1761, this is a print c1837 from the original plate

Condition: The print is in very good condition, a clear impression with a good plate mark.  It comes from a portfolio which has been stored flat and not displayed since publication.

Detailed description:

As with many of Hogarth smaller engravings, this print started life as a subscription ticket for a large work.  In the original plate, there was a receipt caption engraved showing the subscriber had paid a deposit for the print to be issued. This caption was removed, and the plate cut down to its present size, some time before the publication by Boydell in 1790.

The subscription was for an engraving of Hogarth's painting Sigismunda, which now hangs in the Tate Gallery London.  Hogarth had attempted to sell the painting to Sir Richard Grosvenor at the same price which an old master painting of the same subject had recently sold at auction.  Sir Richard refused, and his contract with Hogarth was cancelled.  Hogarth decided to issue the subscription for the engraving of Sigismunda, and produced this engraving as an angry comment on the connoisseurs who prefers old master paintings, ravaged by time, to modern work.

Time is shown in the print blowing smoke at an old painting, while his scythe has carved a slit in it, and a large pot of touching up varnish sits at his feet.  His sit on a statue which lies broken in pieces.

Further explanation of the detail in the print can be found in Paulson, Hogarth's Graphic Works, page 173/174 (the print is Paulson 208).

The print is notable for the sophisticated engraving techniques used by Hogarth, now in his mature years, including aquatint in the painting.

This copy was printed by Baldwin Cradock and Joy in 1835-1837, as part of their series of Hogarth's work, the last to use the original plates.  The edition was issued as prints (ie not in books form) in paper wrappers.  The print is of very high quality, on wove paper.

A great display piece and original work of art.

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