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Print - Before

Before

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (printed)

  • Date:

    15/12/1736 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hogarth, William, born 1697 - died 10 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching and engraving

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Forster

  • Museum number:

    F.118:94

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB4A, shelf EE, box 255

Physical description

Etching and engraving, 2nd state, from a pair entitled 'Before' and 'After'. Two lovers are depicted in a bedroom with a seated man grabbing a woman who pushes him away with one hand on his face. The man in the scene has been identified as Sir John Willes, Walpole Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. The satirical print is laden with innuendo to scandalise him as a notorious womaniser, notably the Cupid poised to shoot an arrow towards the couple and a book of erotic poems by John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (1647-1680) visible on the top of the dressing table.

Place of Origin

Britain (printed)

Date

15/12/1736 (published)

Artist/maker

Hogarth, William, born 1697 - died 10 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Etching and engraving

Dimensions

Height: 57 cm, Width: 44.5 cm

Object history note

This pair of prints was popular throughout Hogarth lifetime but after death, the artist's wife Jane Thornhill, and Hogarth's publisher John Boydell, suppressed it from most bound editions of the printed works. In certain cases they were placed inside a separate folder in the back of the volume.

Descriptive line

Etching and engraving by William Hogarth entitled 'Before'. British, 1736.

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Etching; Engraving

Subjects depicted

Bedrooms; Sex; Lovers; Satire

Categories

Prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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