An image of Noon

William Hogarth

(England 10 Nov 1697 – 25 or 26 October 1764)

Noon, from The four times of the day

Not on display
Further information

In this series, Hogarth, the roving satirist, takes us on a walking tour of contemporary London, exposing the folly and vice of the city’s inhabitants as we move through the districts of Covent Garden, Soho, Islington and Charing Cross over the course of a day. Hogarth’s comic and chaotic series relates to a long-standing (though more conventional) graphic tradition of representing the times of day as well as to the painting tradition of urban topography, which presented more decorous views of the city than Hogarth’s boisterous scenes. The paintings on which Hogarth’s engravings are based were probably commissioned by Jonathan Tyers, proprietor of Vauxhall Gardens, for display in the fashionable amusement park.

'Noon' is set in the parish of St Giles's-in-the-Fields with an elegant crowd leaving the French Huguenot church. The members of the congregation are deliberately contrasted in dress and demeanour with the rowdy Londoners outside the tavern. In the left foreground, a servant girl responds to the fondling and kissing of the black man while her pie dish spills over. A little girl scrabbles on the ground for food scraps. On the other side of the street, a fancily dressed French boy gazes at the dead cat in the gutter.

etching and engraving
48.5 x 40.2 cm plate mark; 59.5 x 47.0 cm sheet
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

European Art Collection Benefactors' Fund 2015
Accession number
William Fraser, Thence by descent
Andrew Edmunds Prints & Drawings, 2014, London/England