William Hogarth, Hymen and Cupid (Cook small)

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Hymen & Cupid. Sitting on a low wall entwined with roses Hymen with garland of roses in the hair and the wedding torch as “indispensable attribute” (Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., VIII, 846) as well as lute, the strings of which plucked by Cupid lying at his side. His bow with quiver front right on the ground. Engraving in oval set in rectangle border by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculp. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Aug. 1st. 1809., otherwise as above. Subject size 5½ × 6⅝ in (14.1 × 16.8 cm).

Originally created as admission ticket for the masque Alfred the Great in Cliveden House – this in the background – 1748 before Prince and Princess of Wales on occasion of the latter’s birthday, later the sujet served as subscription proof for H’s Sigismunda.

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. Here present from Cook’s popular later, smaller Hogarth edition from 1806-09. – Trimmed within the wide white platemark whose outer edges are weakly brownspotted on two sides.

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