Hogarth's "Hudibras" - Plates 1 & 2
Hogarth's "Hudibras" - Plates 1 & 2

Hogarth's "Hudibras" - Plates 1 & 2

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This is a large 18th century antique engraving of Samuel Butler's mock-herioic narrative poem "Hudibras" by William Hogarth, consisting of the Frontispiece and its Explanation (Plate I) and Sr. Hudibras (Plate 2).

In 1725, William Hogarth was commissioned by Philip Overton and John Cooper to engrave "twelve Historical and most Diverting Prints, taken from the celebrated Poem of Hudibras (the Don Quixot of this Nation)". These plates then passed to Robert Sayer (1725–1794), Overton's successor, with Hogarth's other early plates.

This print was published by Robert Sayer. Please note that this only includes plates I and 2 - other plates are available to purchase seperately.

Frontipiece and its Explanation (Plate 1) is an emblematic scene with an oval portrait of Samuel Butler mounted on a pedestal on which is carved a relief showing a satyr whipping figures of Rebellion, Hypocrisy and Ignorance dressed as puritans, while he drives a chariot drawn by Hudibras and Ralpho; in the foreground, on the left, a satyr holds up a volume of Butler's poem as a guide for the carver (a boy dressed only in an apron), and on the right a young satyr holds up a mirror to a figure of Britannia. 

Sr. Hudibras (Plate 2) shows a country scene with Hudibras and Ralpho mounted on emaciated horses; to left, a dog snarls at them; to right, a man holding a rake laughs and accidentally knocks over a table with baskets of vegetables to the consternation of his wife. 

Edition: Robert Sayer

Size: 640mm x 488mm

Condition: fair condition for its age - small tears to top, bottom and right margins - larger tear to bottom margin measures approximately 10cm and extends into print. See images.