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The  Punch  Party

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). A Midnight Modern Conversation. The gentlemen’s evening of renown restaurant visitors and from Hogarth’s circle in St. John’s Coffee House about 4 o’clock in the morning before another bowl, while the mantelpiece already groans with the immense number of beheaded bottles. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818, “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too”, Thieme-Becker). Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Novr. 1st. 1806, otherwise as above. Subject size 5¼ × 6¾ in (13.2 × 17.3 cm).

William Hogarth, A Midnight Modern Conversation

Trimmed within the wide white platemark and especially in its lower and right outer parts slightly browned of age. – Cook’s smaller version without the caption Hogarth added only subsequently to deny the similarities of the actors – pastor , lawyer , physician , officer , politician , philosopher , craftsman (with the London Journal / The Craftsman in the pocket and enlightening the sleeves instead of the pipe) etc. – much discussed in London :

“ Think not to find one meant Resemblance there / We lash the Vices but the Persons spare / Prints should be priz’d as Authors should be read / Who sharply smile prevailing Folly dead / so Rabilaes Laught, & so Cervantes Thought / so Nature dictated what Art has Taught. ”

Hogarth’s  as  sumptuous  as  detailed  depiction  of  the  punch  party :

“ Here not just the members of all four faculties find themselves distinctly, but also the nutrient and military class have their representatives here … masterly depicted … the most manifold effects of drunkenness in its several degrees, from the clergyman … to the officer who falls on the battlefield …

“ No  pope  and  no  archbishop , who would not be ashamed of being drunk, would be allowed to be ashamed for being as this chosen (clergyman). With what dignity does he not stir and mix and smoke! O – it helps if one compels the features and the body generally day by day for some hours to keep dignity and decency while the mind either processes the opposite or is not at hand at all. In the end they learn to perform the duty  alone , just as well-trained dragoon horses still follow suit the turns when their riders already lie in the ditch behind ”

(Lichtenberg).

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(Frau S. P., 25. Mai 2013)