|Method||Copper engraving and etching|
|Published||Engraved by Wm Hogarth from his original painting in Lincoln's Inn Hall, & publish'd as the Act directs Feb. 5. 1752. [J & J Boydell c.1795]|
|Dimensions||Image 383 x 510 mm, Plate 425 x 523 mm, Sheet 470 x 645 mm|
An engraving in reverse of Hogarth's oil painting of St Paul preaching before the Roman procurator of Judea, Marcus Antonius Felix. Paul stands in chains before Felix in the courts of Caesarea. The painting was commissioned by William Murray for decorating Lincoln's Inn Hall, so it was appropriate for Hogarth to choose a court scene. At the same time, the commission allowed Hogarth to exercise his skill as a painter of heroic scenes drawn from biblical and classical sources in a manner directly comparable to Rembrandt's St. Paul cartoons. A quotation (Acts 24:25) inscribed below image reads: And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled.
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.
Paulson 192 iv/v
Condition: Water stain to left side of sheet, slightly affecting left side of image.