William Hogarth. Moses before the Pharaoh’s Daughter. London: John Stockdale, Piccadilly & John Walker and G. Robinson, Paternoster Row, 1812. Re-engraving by Thomas Cook. 15 x 19 3/4. Trimmed to image at top and some chipping at bottom.
William Hogarth (1697-1764) is considered by many to be the greatest English caricaturist of all time. He was a perceptive observer and his illustrations of the social and political conduct of his day are fascinating historical documents and humorous depictions of human foibles, which have remained much the same over the last two centuries. Hogarth was a painter of considerable accomplishment but it is for his prints that he is best known.
The popularity of Hogarth’s prints led to the publication, in 1795, of a complete set of Hogarth’s images “faithfully copied from his finished proofs, by T[homas] Cook. This print comes from an early nineteenth century reissue of that work. It is based on a painting which Hogarth created for the Foundling Hospital. It shows Moses being turned over to the Pharaoh’s daughter by his mother, who is shown receiving money from a stern faced treasurer.