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William Hogarth, Man of Taste

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). The Man of Taste. At the top of Burlington Gate the statue of architect William Kent, submissively admired by Raffael and Michelangelo laterally at his feet. On a scaffold below Alexander Pope white-washing the gate and in his ardor giving both passers-by and the coach of the Duke of Chandos lots of slush. Engraving. Inscribed as above. 10¼ × 14 in (25.9 × 35.4 cm; subject 9⅛ × 6½ in [23.2 × 16.5 cm]).

Harmonic, wide-margined impression from the plate retouched by the royal engraver James Heath (1757 London 1834) about 1822 (“Even these impressions have become relatively rare today though”, Art Gallery Esslingen 1970; and Meyers Konv.-Lex., 4th ed., VIII [1888], 625: “A fine edition”, esteemed also already by contemporary collectors of the rank of for instance an A. T. Stewart [Catalog of the Stewart Collection, New York 1887, 1221, “fine plates”]). – Below trimmed within the laterally extraordinarily wide platemark.

“ … in the print of The Man of Taste, William Hogarth, gratifying concurrently a personal antipathy, promptly attacked Pope, (Richard Boyle, Earl of) Burlington, and his own bete noire, Burlington’s architect, William Kent. Pope, to whom Burlington acts as hodman, is depicted whitewashing Burlington Gate, Piccadilly, which is labelled ‘Taste’, and over which rises Kent’s statue, subserviently supported at the angles of the pediment by Raphael and Michelangelo. In his task, the poet, a deformed figure in a tye-wig, bountifully bespatters the passers-by, particularly the chariot of the Duke of Chandos. The satire was not very brilliant or ingenious; but its meaning was clear. Pope was prudent enough to make no reply ”

(Austin Dobson, De Libris Prose & Verse, 1908).

Offer no. 15,841 / EUR  175. (c. US$ 202.) + shipping

– – – The same in Thomas Cook’s (c. 1744 – London 1818) popular later, smaller version. Engraving. Inscribed as below. Subject size 7 × 5½ in (17.7 × 14 cm).

William Hogarth, Taste (Burlington Gate) (Cook small)

“ A. Ppe a Plasterer white washing & Bespatting / B. any Body that comes in his way / C. not a Dukes Coach as appears by ye. Crescent at one Corner / D. Taste / E. a standing Proof / F. a Labourer. ”

Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too, whose complete work he has engraved in copy” (Thieme-Becker) and whose original format he maintained contrary to all later Hogarth editions in his first, earlier edition. For some sheets not published by Hogarth himself Cook became their first engraver, just as he also gained approval of a contemporary connoisseur as Maximilian Speck von Sternburg. – Trimmed within the wide white platemark whose top and right outer parts are feebly browned.

Offer no. 15,842 / EUR  79. (c. US$ 91.) + shipping


“ It came!  My plate [already documented as lost] was delivered and it is in excellent condition. I cannot explain all of the delays or what happened. It is in the original packaging that you described and it was delivered by DHL, not the postal service (as  far as I can tell – it was left on the porch [!!]). So thank you and so glad that this long story has such a nice ending. It was nice dealing with you, thank you for the plate! ”

(Mrs. J. C., May 8, 2010)