Artist: HOGARTH, William.Engraved by T. Cook.
The Company of Undertakers/The Lecture
Two Prints on one page. The Company of Undertakers is William Hogarth’s delightful commentary upon the medical profession. Represented within a satirical coat-of-arms the engraving is bordered in black, like a mourning card. Beneath it are a pair of ominous crossbones and the motto, “Et Plurima mortis imago” — ‘And many an image of death’. The Lecture depicts the effects that a tedious academic professor (believed to be William Fisher, Registrar of Oxford) has upon his audience. From his isolating perch, a mechanical pedant, his eyes glued to his lecture, “Datur Vacuum” (A vacuum/leisure is granted), reads at his audience. Around him stand his students, who exhibit a variety of responses to the lecture in their caricatured faces; vacuity, indifference, boredom, scorn, amazement, skepticisim, incredulity, drowsiness—every imagineable reaction but real interest.
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Copper engraving. Uncoloured. Very good condition. Size: 45 x 28.7 cm. (17 x 11 inches)