|Method||Copper engraving and etching|
|Artist||Simon François Ravenet, Victor Marie Picot after William Hogarth|
|Published||[Published Feby 2nd, 1772 by John Boydell, engraver in Cheapside, London.] [J & J Boydell c.1795]|
|Dimensions||Image & Sheet 405 x 540 mm|
An engraving by Ravenet and Picot after the original heroic-scale painting by Hogarth, commissioned by John and Josiah Boydell for their edition's of Hogarth's collected works. The painting was executed by Hogarth for St Bartholomew's Hospital after he discovered that the governors were looking to commission a painting for the new North Wing, offering his own services free of charge. Aside from his philanthropic motivations, the painting also allowed Hogarth an opportunity to prove his worth as a history painter. The image depicts Christ at the Pool of Bethesda, as described in the fifth chapter of John's Gospel. The pool appears as described, surrounded by an arched colonnade in an idealised Arcadian garden. Numerous people come to the pool, hoping to be cured of their various maladies. The central figure that Christ gestures towards is a cripple, who had sat by the pool for thirty years. His shift falls aside, revealing a large abscess on his leg. Surrounding Christ, a group of people include sufferers of Ricketts, blindness, dysmorphia, wasting sicknesses, cancer, and syphilis.
Simon François Ravenet (1721 - 1774) was a French engraver and etcher, who spent much of his working life based in London. Although particularly celebrated as a portrait engraver, producing plates for sitters including King George II, David Hume, and Alexander Pope, he also assisted William Hogarth in the engraving of the Marriage a-la-Mode plates.
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 Esq.r / on the Stair Case in S.t Bartholomew's Hospital.) trimmed off. False margins added.