Anon after William Hogarth Prints – The Laughing Audience.
A rare, unsigned copy of The laughing Audience, slightly smaller than Hogarth’s original, and engraved in reverse to the original.
On this William Hogarth Prints, the auditorium of a theatre, with the audience laughing at the unseen play.
At the bottom is the orchestra with the musicians solemnly blowing on bassoon-like instruments. Above them is the pit, separated from the orchestra by a row of spikes.
A sourly restrained gentleman is evidently a critic. In the row of boxes at the top are two foppish rakes, one making advances to a woman and the other to two orange girls.
This print was originally made by William Hogarth as the subscription ticket for his prints A Rake’s Progress and Southwark Fair.
In early states a receipt was below the image, although in this final state the plate has been cut down. Although traces of the receipt are still visible.
In this state the print was sold by Hogarth as one of ‘Four Groups of Heads’ (the others being Scholars at a Lecture, and Company of Undertakers).
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.