The Leaders of the Presbyterian Scots
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). The Committee. The Convenanters, leaders of the Presbyterian Scots, reject the new, Catholic friendly liturgy written by Laud (William L., Archbishop of Canterbury, 1573-1645, deserved greatly of the Oxford University Library, beheaded) as representative of the royal High Church and write the Convenant as the upbeat of the English revolution and thus the rule of the Puritans under Cromwell. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). (1802.) Inscribed: Plate 9 / Designd by W. Hogarth / Engrav’d by T. Cook, otherwise as above. 10⅞ × 14½ in (27.7 × 36.7 cm).
HUDIBRAS IX. – 4 six-lined stanzas as caption abridged from Butler’s poem. – Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too (1795 ff.) whose complete work he has reproduced” (Thieme-Becker VII, 1912, p. 348/I) and whose original format he maintained in contrast to all later Hogarth editions, which moreover mostly don’t contain the consequently rarer Hudibras. Several works not published by Hogarth himself had been engraved by Cook for the first time as he met with approval by a contemporary connoisseur as Maximilian Speck von Sternburg, too. – Of fine chiaroscuro, on strong paper. Above trimmed to the wide platemark. This slightly tidemarked, minimally touching also the closing hatching of the subject. Below with tiny margin.
“ is a vulgarized (English) Don Quixote , a dewitted Rabelais ”
(Laaths, Geschichte der Weltliteratur, 1953, p. 375), a „satiric scourge” (Meyers Konv.-Lex., 4th ed., III, 693/I) on the politically just sacked Puritanism and the best-known work of its creator esteemed by Charles II,
(Strensham, Worcestershire, 1612/13 – London 1680), as result of his impressions in the employ of Cromwell’s Colonel Sir Samuel Luke, “at which religious and political sects were about” (Meyers). Remaining incomplete the first two parts of the epic were published in 1663/64, a third one in 1678, then, joined, long-lived through the centuries. In three cantos each
“ describing in rough, mostly eight-syllabic songs (later known as ‘hudibrastic verse’) the loosely connected, grotesque adventures of two Puritans, the knight Hudibras and his shield-bearer Ralpho. Hogarth has engraved two different sets of illustrations to this poem: twelve large, carefully executed engravings he has created on his own, independently of a publisher, and published in February 1726, and seventeen smaller ones which have more the character of woodcuts and presumably done before, but were published the following April only in a poem edition. These follow the course of the action while the large sheets only represent the decisive scenes with an abridgement as legend … Epic and pictures are an antiheroic satire on Puritanism and sectarianism ”
(Margrit Bachofen-Moser in Hogarth Catalogue Zurich, 1983, pp. 25 ff. illustrating the large version in partly differing arrangement).
The Hudibras set – Thieme-Becker judge – is “of decisive significance for Hogarth’s development.
Here lies the key to the understanding of the satirist H. ”
(Thieme-Becker XVII , 300/II).
And Austin Dobson in the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1911 :
“ These (plates Hogarth) himself valued highly, and they are the best of his book illustrations. But he was far too individual to be the patient interpreter of other men’s thoughts, and it is not in this direction that his successes are to be sought … (And generally resuming) If we regard him – as he loved to regard himself – as ‘author’ rather than ‘artist’, his place is with the great masters of literature – with the Thackerays and Fieldings, the Cervantes and Molières. ”
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– – – The same in Cook’s smaller repetition, partly worked together with his son, with the caption mostly – but not here – being replaced by the series title. Inscribed: Pl. IX. / Hogarth pinxt. / THE COMITTEE. / T. Cook & Son cm. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Novr. 1st. 1808. Subject size 5¼ × 6¾ in (13.3 × 17.3 cm). – Trimmed within the wide white platemark and this at three sides chiefly in the outer part slightly foxed and browned resp.
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– – – The same in Hogarth’s own etching/engraving of 1726 with the Sayer address of the 1768 new edition and here in the impression on strong paper 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 , 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”]). Inscribed: 9 (by the publisher) / Wm. Hogarth Inven. et Sculp / London Printed for Robt. Sayer, Map & Printseller, at No. 53 in Fleet Street., otherwise with title + the caption closing Caried on in the Next Print. 10¾ × 14 in (27.4 × 35.7 cm). – Nagler 10-9; Hogarth Catalog Zurich, 1983, 10 (sic, see above) with ills. of the 2nd state. – On the right in the wall part the print somewhat and in the door-frame partially weaker.
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„ Best her Niemeyer, De prenten zijn vanmiddag in goede staat gearriveerd. Alleen al het uitpakken is een genot! Ze zien er prachtig uit (vooral The Idel ’prentice is een juweel) … Wat dat betreft, zijn eigenlijk alle prenten die u mij hebt toegezonde, van uitstekende kwaliteit … “
(Mijnheer P. E., 1. Februar 2008)