|Artist||after William Hogarth|
|Published||Invented & Painted by Wm. Hogarth. [Robert Sayer. London, 1767]|
|Dimensions||Image 230 x 340 mm, Plate 252 x 355 mm, Sheet 270 x 448 mm|
A reduced engraving after Hogarth's The March to Finchley, from Robert Sayer's Les Satyres de Guillaume Hogarth Oeuvre Moral et Comique. Sayer published Les Satyres under the auspices of Jane Hogarth, who had been granted copyright over her late husband's works by Act of Parliament.
A lively scene of British troops at the Tottenham Court Turnpike, at the intersection of the Euston and Hampstead roads, in September 1745. The troops have been newly recalled from the Low Countries to protect London from the invasion of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and are here supposed to be marching north of the city to Finchley. Instead, they are depicted in a scene of the most raucous and utmost disorder, in contrast to ranks of regulars that appear in the background, marching towards the village of Hampstead on the rise. At the centre of the scene, a soldier is caught between two women who both vie for his attention. One, an older woman, seems to represent both the Catholic Faith, a crucifix on her shawl, and the Jacobite cause, carrying a bag of sympathiser pamphlets. The other, a heavily pregnant young ballad-singer, evidently acts as a contrast, carrying a basket that includes a ballad 'God save our Noble King.' To the left, a dishevelled drummer, who should be busy drumming the marching order of his unit, is hassled by his wife and a squalling child. The rest of the scene is a riot of confusion and vice. Behind the central figures, a soldier gropes a milkmaid while his fellow pours the contents of her milk-churn into his hat. Another soldier steals a pie from a gormless baker, who carries his products on a tray on his head. Two other's drain ale from an uncorked keg, while a pair of royal messengers engage in a clumsy drinking contest, knocking each other into a puddle. On one side of the road, soldiers bid farewell to scores of prostitutes, who hang from the windows of the 'King's Head' pub, while on the other side of the road, a man urinates painfully against the wall of another pub, the 'Adam and Eve,' reading a timely advertisement for Dr Rock's quack venereal disease treatments.
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764) was born in London, the son of an unsuccessful schoolmaster and writer from Westmoreland. After apprenticeship to a goldsmith, he began to produce his own engraved designs in about 1710. He later took up oil painting, starting with small portrait groups called conversation pieces. He went on to create a series of paintings satirising contemporary customs, but based on earlier Italian prints, of which the first was The Harlot's Progress (1731), and perhaps the most famous The Rake's Progress. His engravings were so plagiarised that he lobbied for the Copyright Act of 1735, commonly referred to as 'Hogarth's Act,' as a protection for writers and artists. During the 1730s Hogarth also developed into an original painter of life-sized portraits, and created the first of several history paintings in the grand manner.
Robert Sayer (1725-1794) was one of the most prolific and successful British publishers, cartographers, and print-sellers of the Georgian era. Following his brother's marriage to the daughter in law of the publisher John Overton, Sayer continued the business, branching out into sea charts, maritime atlases, and general maps. In addition to his cartographic achievements, Sayer was also instrumental in growing the public taste for prints after paintings, particularly those by Johan Zoffany, with whom he developed a lifelong friendship as well as a lucrative business partnership. Following his death, the business was continued by Laurie and Whittle.
Condition: Excellent impression. Light ink smudge to right of inscription space. Top left corner of sheet creased, not affecting plate. Minor time toning and surface dirt to edges of sheet, not affecting plate.