The Actor’s Bread is the Distress
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). (Ticket) for the Benefit of (James) Spiller (the Player). The actor of Beggar’s Opera – “who played the character of Mat of the Mint … with great applause” – at a scale measuring debit and less credit in front of the debtor’s prison, selling tickets for box, gallery and pit in the futile attempt to fight off all the presented promissory notes, particularly big the one by the tailor. Ready, though yet hatched, the execution officers. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818), together with his son. Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook & Son sc. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, Apr. 1st. 1808., otherwise as above. Subject size 4⅜ × 5¼ in (11.2 × 13.4 cm).
Hogarth’s support of about 1728 for the as talented as poor actor, whose features have, irrespective of their minuteness, the quality of a portrait. – Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker); present portrait, 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 white platemark quite feebly brown-touched at its far edges on three sides.
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„ bereits heute ist der Stahlstich der Harfe spielende Dame wohlbehalten bei mir angekommen und übertrifft meine Erwartungen weit. Als Berufsharfenistin werde ich sicher viel Freude an dem Bild haben. Mit ganz herzlichem Dank und freundlichen Grüßen “
(Frau C. K., 6. August 2016)