William Hogarth – The Times Plate II
William Hogarth – The Times Plate II. One of a pair of engravings with a complicated publishing history.
This plate was unfinished at Hogarth’s death and it unclear whether Mrs Hogarth published this first proof state late in life or as the first of the sequence of later states by Boydell after 1790.
To further complicate the issue, the contemporary collector George Steevens (1736-1800) has written on his copy of this state that it was ‘taken during the lifetime of Hogarth’, but it was not until June 1781 that he (according to Malone’s letter to Lord Charlemont) ‘ransacked Mrs. Hogarth’s house for obsolete and unfinished plates’, so perhaps the inscription may be taken with a pinch of salt.
Plate II of The Times depicts a more peaceful and prosperous Britain.
Plants are nourished by water spouting from the monument of George III. With the elegant Lord Bute as the chief gardener of the State, controlling access to the King.
A gigantic palette dangling from the facade of a newly erected public building indicates that under the reign of the young King art flourishes.
‘Ms Fanny’ (a reference to the Cock Lane Ghost) and ‘Wilkes’, a fervent opponent of the King and Bute. Appear in the pillory, while to the left those few members of Parliament who are still awake, including Pitt with bandaged legs, shoot at the dove of peace in the sky. Paulson 4th. State
William Hogarth, (born November 10, 1697, London, England—died October 26, 1764, London). The first great English-born artist to attract admiration abroad. Best known for his MORAL and satirical engravings and paintings—e.g., A Rake’s Progress (eight scenes,1733).
His attempts to build a reputation as a history painter and portraitist, however, met with financial disappointment. His aesthetic theories had more influence in Romantic literature than in painting.