For Milton’s Paradise Lost ?
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Two Plates for Miltons. On the one side a devilish scenery, on the other a concert of heavenly hosts with a little devil buzzing down. Two works on one sheet as probably for the 1st & 3rd book of Paradise Lost. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, May 1st. 1809., otherwise as above. Subject size 6 × 7 in (15.2 × 17.8 cm).
While Mr. Nichols finds it strange that Hogarth should have created one illustration each for said two books only – in analogy, however, to the double design Perseus & Andromeda – and supposes that they were not used in any edition, rather had been intended for some oratorio or similar operatic performance neither printed nor performed, John Trusler swears that if necessary the master may never have read Milton’s Paradise Lost and that especially the devilish racket could be related to any other work of fancy rather than Milton’s poem. Anyway, either way,
“ Milton’s greatest fame happened to fall into the middle of the German 18th century when his work was mobilized by Swiss critics in the fight against enlightenment which had banished the miraculous from poetry … ”
(Laaths, Weltliteratur, 1953, 373).
Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker); present sujets, however, he has treated supposedly for the first time only in the small edition of the years 1806/09 following his folio edition. – Trimmed within the wide, slightly brown-touched white platemark.
Offer no. 15,320 / EUR 92. (c. US$ 100.) + shipping
“ Sir, yes, (the Rubens) is closer to the one in London (recte Dresden), but the one we have is on copper. Thank you for your time. Highest regards, D… A… (and yes America could use a blessing about now) ”
(Mr. D. A., November 4, 2003)