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Once  a  Famous  Fair  in  London

or

A  Leg  wanders  through  Art  History

from  Bruegel  via  Hogarth  to  Goya

and  is  here  together  a  Little  Leg

in  the  Small  Beginning  of  the  Haymarket  Theatre

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Southwark Fair. The London fair with its populous colorful scene. Engraving by Thomas Cook (ca. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Designed by Wm. Hogarth / Engraved by T. Cook / Published April 1st. 1796, by G. G. & J. Robinson, Paternoster Row, London., title as before. 14¾ × 18¾ in (37.4 × 47.5 cm).

Hogarth Catalog Tate Gallery, 1971/72, 74 (the 1733 oil) along with ills.; H. Catalog Zurich, 1983, 20 (H’s engraving of 1734 in reverse) with ills. – As subscription ticket served suggestively “The Laughing Audience”.

William Hogarth, Southwark Fair (Cook)

The  second  earliest  depiction

of the exposition “Come in, Come in – Fair’s Prints from Three Centuries” of the Puppet Show Collection Munich of 1975/76. See no. 2 of the exhibition catalog along with double full-page ills. pp. 52/53.

“ This first sheet by Hogarth of larger consequence, which he himself attached importance also still later, giving the depiction of one of those fairs which in England in the beginning of the new time were still of importance for the trade, but already in the last half of the 17th century served only as motive for amusement of the lower-classes, which is usually the case on such occasions.

But it also don’t lack at tragedy … especially in front at ‘Bajazet’s  Fall’ (see below), at that time a famous heroe on the national theatres … played by the way by Cibber and Bullock …, by a company which circumstances a (deliciously illustrated) signboard with the headline

The  Stage  Mutiny

( the  actors’  rebellion  from  Drury Lane

with  Theophilus  Cibber

at  the  head , from  which  the  Haymarket  Theatre  formed )

still more detailed comments …

At a large kiosk … dramatical performances are promised by comedy-bills and executed, too, … A heroic piece likewise is in the process of the show, the siege of Troy …

The main thing on the sheet naturally formed the crowd. Also here a troupe of comedians is noticeable which first makes known its performance under beat of the drum and trumpet-blast. The drum is played by a beauty … This shall be the portrait of an actress from a similar company of players. As it is told once Hogarth had mixed with the crowd on a Southwark Fair and saw how a pretty street comedian was maltreated by her director. The spectacle was so awkward to him that he directly gave a lecture of gallentry with the riding-whip to the director. But the girl pleased him so much that he drew her and later placed on this picture ”

(Lichtenberg).

Art-historical  hub

however, is the own fall of the future Haymarket ensemble, and in such a way unintentionally live playing just “The Fall of Bajazet”, from its wooden stage established raisedly above the crowd into the goods of a porcelain shop.  And  in  doing  so , full  of  symbolism , showing  leg . In this case that of a beauty. A leg with past and future. For

“ The actress’s flailing legs among the timbers of the stage … recall  Bruegel’s ‘Fall of the Magician’ (rather than the work by Coypel which is sometimes suggested.)

This  passage  in  the  ‘ Southwark  Fair ’

… may have suggested the similar detail in Plate 30 of  Goya’s ‘Disaster of War’ ”

(Lawrence Gowing im Katalog der Tate Gallery).

Splendid  impression  of  finest  chiaroscuro

of this unrepeatable sheet, in the same direction to Hogarth’s engraving, on strong paper. Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker), whose original size he maintained in contrast to all later Hogarth editions. – The wide white margin with a quite faint tidemark above right.

Offer no. 7,555 / EUR  614. / export price EUR  583. (c. US$ 630.) + shipping

– – – The same in Cook’s smaller repetition, in same direction to the oil. Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, July 1st. 1807., title as above. Subject size 5½ × 6¾ in (14 × 17 cm).

William Hogarth, Southwark Fair (Cook small)

Trimmed within the wide white margin, two sides of which, relatively three, in its outer parts weakly brownspotted.

Offer no. 8,925 / EUR  151. (c. US$ 163.) + shipping


„ 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)