interests were intricately linked to
his business concerns. He published prints to bring his art to
as wide an audience as possible and to generate a renewable
source of income.
Hogarth composed his major works on canvas. When he finished a
painting he, or
his hired engravers, carefully engraved
the images onto copper plates. When an inked plate transferred
the image to paper, the composition was reversed:
of the canvas
appeared on the left-side of the print. Later, when other artists
copied his prints, the process would again reverse the image
so that the composition of the copies often matched the paintings.
From 1720 until his death in 1764, Hogarth published multiple
editions of his work as individual prints, suites
of prints, and bound volumes.
As Hogarth engraved his plates he worked through ideas and experimented
with rendering techniques. When the image reached a stage of completion,
the plate and pulled a print. This maked the first state of the
print. Subsequent changes that appear on later prints represent
Most prints went through three or four states, but some went through
as many as eight states. An image could undergo several states
before it was publicly issued. Or years
issued a print,
he would publish
subsequent editions, often reworking the plates and
between states are subtle, but on some plates Hogarth made significant
changes that altered the content of the work.
Over the course of his lifetime Hogarth made hundreds of changes
to his plates. The definitive reference that documents the states
of each print is Hogarth's
Graphic Works by Ronald Paulson. The extremely detailed text
and an abundance of illustrations make it an invaluable tool for
the publication history of Hogarth's prints.
Gulielmus Hogarth and The Bruiser
In 1749, Hogarth engraved a self-portrait that he used as a frontispiece
for bound volumes of his prints. In 1763 he burnished out the dog,
the curtain, and the palette. In the empty oval he engraved Churchill
with a beer in one hand and a club in the other to represent a
drunken clergman who writes brutal satires.
edition of A Harlot's Progress was published in 1732.
When Hogarth re-published the series in 1744, he designated the
second edition by placing a
small Latin cross beneath the center of each image. Before
releasing the prints to the public, he made additional changes
to several of the plates.
Some of the modifications made to Plate 6 include a cast shadow
that was added to the bottle in the lower-right corner. Shadows have
also been added to the faces of the undertaker, his companion and