Digitised Image

Hogarth, William 1697-1764 :[Chairing the members. Plate 4. Four prints of an election]. Engrav'd by Wm Hogarth & F Aviline. To the Honble George Hay, one of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, etc etc. This plate is most humbly inscribed by his mo

Reference Number: D-020-092

A brawl in a town street outside London, with a Tory Member of Parliament being carried along in a chair by a crowd, almost tipped out of his chair. In the foreground, two men are fighting (one holding a chained bear and monkey), a blind fiddler is playing, another man is beating the donkey he is riding, a pig is pursuing its litter and there is an inn to the right. Over the MP's head swoops a single goose. This final painting was flamboyantly mock-heroic, a shambolic parody of the triumph of Alexander the Great in Le Brun's `Battle of Granicus'. The turbulence of Hogarth's cowd is exaggerated by the regular proportions of the buildings that frame it; the sqare Georgian houses, the parish church and the town hall. The sundials inscription reads `Pulvis et umbra sumus' (We are dusr and shadows). The new house is a stylistic mess with a classical-Chinese door frame, and ist neighbour is already collapsing.The procession, which seems to progress so purposefully, has in fact ground to a halt, sabotaged by animal spirits. An ass, crossing its path, has stopped to eat a thistle; this gives the dancing bear the chance to drag tripe out of the ass's panniers; a sow has knocked down one of the men carrying the Member's chair, and her piglets are leaping in the stream in panic. These animals are emblematic, suggesting the greed and wild folly of the voters.

Key terms:
1 image, categorised under Engravings, Portraits and Caricatures, related to Francois Antoine Aviline, England, Bears, Monkeys, Violence, Elections - Great Britain, Bars (Drinking establishments) - England, Skull, Violinists, Members of Parliament - England, Hotels - England, Pigs and Donkeys.

Part of:
Hogarth, William 1697-1764 :The original works of William Hogarth. London, sold by John and Josiah Boydell, 1790, Reference Number D-020-001/115 (8 digitised items)

Extent: 1 b&w art print(s)Engraving, 432 x 556 mm (platemark) on cream wove paper, 487 x 649 mm. Art works

Conditions governing access to original: Partial restriction - Use photographic copies in preference to original.

Other copies available: Negative of whole image is 1/2-164854; detail of blind violinist is negative 1/2-164855

Inscriptions: Inscribed - Recto - beneath image: Title

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