barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


William Hogarth (1697-1764)

Evening (third in the sequence from ‘The Four Times of the Day’)

London, 1738

Etching and engraving with red ink 

Paper: 48.5 x 40.6; mount: 80.8 x 60.5 cm

 

Clenched fists and furrowed brows indicate an oncoming tantrum as this brother and sister quarrel over a gingerbread man. The contrast between the children’s elegant clothing and their poses and expressions suggests they have not yet achieved the studied manners and refinement expected of 18th-century adulthood. Hogarth became famous for his satirical print series, known as modern moral cycles, which exposed the follies of contemporary society. Here he sets an affected and over-dressed urban family against the simple rural activities of a summer evening in Islington, then on the outskirts of London.

Purchased 2002 (No. 2002.6/3)

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