HOGARTH'S SUPPRESSED PRINTS
1697 - 1764
BEFORE and AFTER
A pair of hand tinted copper engravings, invented, engraved & published Dec. 15 1736 by Wm. Hogarth [this edition published by Wm. Heath London 1822] the original price having been partially erased from below the image (right).
Sensitively hand tinted by an early hand, matted, glazed, gilt-wood frame
Plate size: Before 16 ¾ x 13" (425 x330 mm) Frame 26 ¼ x 21 ¾"
After 16 x 13" (408 x 330 mm.) Frame 26 ¼ x 21 ¾ "
Ref. lorGr 1a & b/DLN pr/ dd.addr>SOL pr. PRICE CODE D Click for price guide
SCARCE known as the suppressed prints as they were considered too indecent to be included in some of the collected editions of Hogarth's works. With the passage of time, they have subsequently become perhaps the most desirable and collectable of all Hogarth's images being the consummate Bedroom images.
This scene contrasts a girl's last-minute tussel with her morals. With a look of alarm on her face, the girl seems to flee the embraces of her disheveled lover. The man grinning wildly, his eyes bulging, he loses his wig in his passion, exposing his shaved head. The girl has, of course, invited him into her bedroom and even anticipated his response by removing beforehand her shackling underwear and displaying it upon her chair. The source of her "fall" is to be found in the books on her tumbling vanity. A cherub can be seen lighting the fuse of a rocket in Before, denoting male sexual excitement, suggests the various roles and conditions in the scene. The girl's dog attempts to aid in her defence.
In this scene the expression on the gentleman's face is changed from one of sexual frenzy to one of wonder and release. He dresses to leave. The girl's anxiety is changed to clinging affection. In a reversal of roles, she now attempts to detain him.
On the floor a book is open to a page reading, "Omne Animal Post Coitum Triste/ Aristotle" (Every animal is sad after intercourse). The passage of time is marked by the sun's illumination of After, a picture of a cherub smiling at his exhausted rocket's downward course. The sleeping dog reflects his mistress' mood. The books seen on the falling dressing table probably symbolize loss of innocence and virtue.