|Method||Copper engraving and etching|
|Artist||Thomas Cook after William Hogarth|
|Published||[Publish'd Augt. 1-1803. by G. & I. Robinson, Paternoster row]|
|Dimensions||Image & Sheet 410 x 542 mm|
An engraving by Thomas Cook of an original oil painting by William Hogarth, depicting the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan. Another very similar earlier version was completed by Cook's master, Ravenet, for Boydell's edition of Hogarth's collected works. Along with the 'Pool of Bethesda,' the 'Good Samaritan' was executed by William Hogarth for St Bartholomew's Hospital. The subject of the the painting was a particularly appropriate choice for an institution of healing and care. The parable as told by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke concerns a man who was travelling on the dangerous 'Way of Blood,' the road between Jerusalem and Jericho. On the way, he was robbed and beaten by a group of bandits. As he lay wounded, he was passed by on the road by a priest, and then by a Levite, both of whom walked by on the other side of the road and did not stop to help. The third passer-by was a Samaritan, a traditional enemy of the Jews, who stopped and treated the man's wounds. Hogarth's painting is very similar to the 1670 painting by Jan Wijnants. The man, naked but for a cloth about his waste has been propped up against a stone by the Samaritan, identified by his cap and knotted cloak. He pours a balm onto the wound on the man's chest. The pair are flanked by a dog and horse, the latter of which is tethered to a tree stump. In the background, the Priest and the Levite both pretend not to notice the Samaritan's kindness, one reading his scriptures, the other receiving the suppliance of a kneeling beggar. A large rocky outcrop in the background suggests the rugged and mountainous path that the road took.
Thomas Cook (1744-1818) was a British printmaker, etcher, and engraver, and a pupil of the French portrait engraver, Simon François Ravenet. Cook is particularly well known as an engraver of plates after Hogarth, working in this capacity for Ravenet, the Boydells, and Nichols & Stevens. In addition to his Hogarth works, he also produced many frontispieces and book plates, as well as portraits for the Gentleman's Magazine.
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.
Condition: Excellent impression. Trimmed to image with title and inscription (Engraved from the Original Picture; Painted by William Hogarth Esqr. on the Stair Case in St. Bartholomew's Hospital …) trimmed off. False margins added.