An image of Evening

William Hogarth

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

Evening, from The four times of the day

Location
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.

'Evening' depicts a well-dressed couple taking a summer’s walk in Islington along a new, man-made river, and drifting past Sadler’s Wells Theatre, often satirized in this period as an amusement centre of vulgar appeal. In the centre of the print Hogarth places the pregnant wife, who is suffering from the evening heat. Her sexual appetite is suggested by the nude gods and goddesses decorating her fan. The husband is diminutive and a cuckold, as we see from the horns which a trick of perspective places above his head. Following behind the couple, their children act out the relationship of their parents with the sister scolding her hapless bother.

Year
1738
Media
Print
Medium
etching and engraving
Dimensions
48.5 x 40.2 cm plate mark; 58.3 x 47.0 cm sheet
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Credit
European Art Collection Benefactors' Fund 2015
Accession number
63.2015
Provenance
William Fraser, England, Thence by descent
Andrew Edmunds Prints & Drawings, 2014, London/England