Print “Sleeping Congregation” after William Hogarth (1796-1806)

Bottom left of image has ‘Designed by W. Hogarth’

Published London, 1796-1806 for "Hogarth Restored. The Whole Works of the Celebrated William Hogarth..." By Thomas Cook. 

Copper engraving.

Water stain that affects LL of image.

22 X 30.5 cm

 

Wonderful impression with the chiaroscuro especially important here as symbolizing the divine sphere. Beyond that – contrary to all later Hogarth editions – in the original size. – Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker).

“ In the present sheet Hogarth ridicules the English High Church by depicting the effect which results from the way to preach handed down to their priests of old … (This) himself, the sexton and two old women are the only ones awake. The sexton, who is paid for watching anyway, contemplates another pleasant object which keeps his spirits alive. With connoisseur’s eyes he beholds the bare bosom of a young girl (probably the daughter of the lord of the manor) sitting sideways whose scarf dropped off during the slumber. Oddly enough she has fallen asleep over the prayer on marriage  In the opposite pew five peasants lie in deepest rest … Among the garnishing else a family crest … is to be mentioned. It consists of three night owls, the ancient symbols of wisdom. They rise, as it were a general crest, high above the whole congregation ”

(Lichtenberg)