Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Shrimps! The young crab-seller woman calling out her wares. Stipple printed in gray by Ernst Ludwig Riepenhausen (1765 Göttingen 1840). Inscribed: W. Hogarth pinx. / Riepenhausen sc. 9⅞ × 7⅝ in (25.1 × 19.4 cm).

One of the rarer plates after Hogarth. – On lightly toned minor paper. Box pleat lower right in image and wide white margin.

William Hogarth, Shrimps!

“ This picture (represents) a young English country girl who comes to town with crabs to sell them by means of the measure lying on top of the woven basket – which she balances gracefully on her head despite of its wheel-size – , in doing so she cries ‘crabs, crabs’. ”

Hogarth worked this for him quite unusual picture about 1745 though not publishing it himself as engraving. This only happened in 1782 by Bartolozzi whose work served as model for Riepenhausen who followed it not just in technique and grey print, but – contrary to his usual habit – also in the side-inverted depiction.

Hogarths widow by the way used to explain this lively painting of the “Market Wench” – in her possession till 1790 – to visitors as follows:

“ They  say  he  could  not  paint  flesh .
There’s  flesh  and  blood  for  you;  —  them ! ”

And thus generations later Richard Muther judged in Thieme-Becker :

“ The  much  adored  ‘Crab  Girl’ …
a  painting  from  which  the salty  winds  of  the  sea  blow  – , so  strange
that  only  the  last  works  of  Frans  Hals  offer  a  parallel . ”

See otherwise the colour reproduction of the original in the Hogarth catalogue of the Tate Gallery of 1971-72 (ills. p. 51). – Riepenhausen’s works after Hogarth ( “very valuable” ) count to his main work.

Offer no. 11,126 / EUR  125. (c. US$ 151.) + shipping

“ Received the 2 parcels yesterday in A. M. I am very pleased with the books as well as the condition of them. Thank you again … I hope we can do business again in the near future ”

(Mr. L. A. F., March 11 and 1 resp., 2001)