The combat

description below

Satire on the conflict between artists campaigning for a public academy and those who were opposed. William Hogarth (A), shown as the leader of the latter group, rides a peacock. He is followed by (B) probably intended for the journalist Bonnell Thornton, dressed as Mercury, holding a paper lettered “Sr by G[o]d they laugh at us”, and (C) Thomas Burgess, a young artist “who etch’d the Club of Artists” [BM Satires 3278]; (D) consists of a group of young followers sheltering behind the peacock’s tail. Opposite them stands another group, a “New Club”, led by (E) the “Chairman” holding a gavel, probably Francis Hayman, and (F) an older man holding a candle described as a “comic Poet study’d Painter and Chapman”. Behind them stand (G), “a Swiss Operator”, (H) “a great Projector”, (I) “Toast Master General” and others only partly visible; those at the back of this group have peacock feathers in their hats. On the ground between the groups sits (T) “a late Author & Publisher of Scandal”. To the right, a child (U) holding a lantern has climbed a tree in search of “Impartiality”. Above flies Fame (W) “inspiring the Heros”. A zodiacal arc on the left includes a pair of clasped hands (a symbol for mutual trust) lettered “Unknown”.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Burgess, Thomas, approximately 1730-1791, printmaker.
  • Title: The combat [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : [publisher not identified], [1754?]

Catalog Record


Acquired April 2022

Buck metamorphos’d

description below

“Portrait of Samuel Foote in character; whole length, standing, wearing the latest ‘French’ fashions, including large fur muff, wig with pointed sides, mis-matched tights, and coat with over-sized cuffs; his outfit is scrutinized by two English gentlemen to the right; two men in background, one preparing a hat, bending over a dressing table with mirror.”–British Museum online catalogue.
On the back wall are two large framed pictures, both with scenes from mythology. On the left, Apollo with bow and arrow pursues Daphne who has begun the turn into a laurel tree. On the right, Leda and the swan.

  • Printmaker: Smith, Gabriel, 1724-1783, printmaker, artist.
  • Title: Buck metamorphos’d, or, Mr. Foote in the character of the Englishman return’d from Paris [graphic] / drawn & engrav’d by Gabl. Smith.
  • Publication: London : Printed for John Ryall & Robt. Withy, at Hogarth’s Head in Fleet Street, [ca. 1756]

Catalog Record


Acquired January 2021

Design for a new coat of arms

Caricature of a coat of arms for Queen Caroline and Bergami

Caricature of a coat of arms for Queen Caroline and Bergami with the central figure with a satyr’s face, a hat “Caroline Bergami gratia — Half a crown”, and white robes richly decorated with scenes from their life on an escutcheon with Chastity and Innocence as supporters, all surrounded by rich red robes lined with ermine. The scenes include: Adam and Eve, two heads peeping from a tent, a scene with Bergami kneeling before the Queen leaning in to kiss, a plump Queen jumping up like a jack-in-the box, the two in costume dancing, the Queen riding an ass. Other suggestive decorative details include ostrich plumes, ribbons with medals engraved “Night of the Dunghill” (Bergami) and Knight of the Thistle with a shield “The Times … Lies … Bribery”. At the base, Knight of the Bath with a scene with Bergami reaching towards the Queen in her bath above a medallion “Knight of St. Columbine and Penance” surrounded by a banner “My fancy’s so free, I rove like a bee.”

  • Printmaker: Lane, Theodore, 1800-1828, printmaker.
  • Title: Design for a new coat of arms [graphic] : dedicated to Mothers Wood, Windsor & Co. & all the fancy queens.
  • Publication: [London] : Published by G. Humphrey, 27 St. James’s St., May 1st 1 [sic], 1821.

Catalog RecordĀ 


Acquired March 2019


Imps . Detailed description below.

A depiction, in three rows, of some 20 fanciful designs for spritely demons, ranging from the buxom to the bizarre, probably meant to mock the contemporary early-Romantic interest in ‘fairy painting’ by such artists as Henry Fuseli (1774-1825) and William Blake (1757-1827), especially their well-known interpretations of Shakespeares A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Fuseli’s highly sexualized depictions of nightmares.

  • Printmaker: Newton, Richard, 1777-1798, printmaker, artist.
  • Title: Imps [graphic] / invented, drawn & etchd. by Rd. Newton.
  • Publication: London : Pub. by W. Holland, No. 50 Oxford Street, Novemr. 25, 1796.

Catalog RecordĀ 


Acquired December 2018