|Method||Copper engraving and etching|
|Published||Publish'd according to Act of Parliament August 25th 1746. [J & J Boydell c.1795]|
|Dimensions||Image 336 x 224 mm, Plate 367 x 237 mm, Sheet 588 x 440 mm|
A full length portrait of Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, the infamous deviant and Jacobite rebel. He sits sneering in a high-backed chair, a copy of his memoirs open on the table to the right, counting on his fingers the Highland clans that joined the Jacobite cause in the rebellion. Hogarth had travelled to St. Albans to meet Lovat, accompanied by a physican, Dr Webster, who had been sent to check Lovat's state of health. Lovat's life was notoriously reprobate. A frequent turncoat and traitor, Lovat was eventually seized by the Royal Navy as he attempted to hide in a hollow tree on an island in Loch Morar. Upon arrival in London he was sentenced to death, his notoriety reaching such a pitch that Hogarth's printers were unable to keep up with demand for his portrait. His execution, the last by beheading to be carried out in England, was set for the 9th of April, 1747. The crowds of spectators for the event were so large that scaffolds were erected on Tower Hill to accommodate them. Upon being told of the collapse of one of the scaffolds, an accident resulting in the deaths of at least 20 people, Lovat was alleged to have jested 'The more the mischief, the better the sport.' The inscription below reads: 'Simon Lord Lovat. Drawn from the Life and Etch'd in Aquafortis by Willm. Hogarth. Price 1 Shilling.'
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 166 ii/iii, BM Satires 2801
Condition: Excellent impression with full margins. Light foxing and manuscript number to margin, not affecting image or plate.