3 Items in this Learning Collection

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The Four Times of Day: Night

Accession Number

The Four Times of Day: Night

William Hogarth

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
etching and engraving on laid paper

18 3/16 in x 16 in (46.2 cm x 40.64 cm);28 1/16 in x 22 1/16 in (71.28 cm x 56.04 cm);23 ⅛ in x 18 ¼ in (58.74 cm x 46.36 cm);17 7/16 in x 14 ⅜ in (44.29 cm x 36.51 cm);18 3/16 in x 16 in (46.2 cm x 40.64 cm)

Subject matter
Hogarth created several print series that satirize mores and values of 18th century England. In his suite, "The Four Times of Day," executed after a series of paintings, he employed humor, not just to comment on London society but to breathe new life into images marking the times of day. Hogarth translated portrayals of the times of the day from their pastoral origins to that of contemporary London. The pastoral, eternal and ideal here become urban, specific and comic. Each of the London sites shown in this series was considered disreputable in its day and the congested setting acts as a foil and context for the figures.
An image of nocturnal mishap, "Night" is set near Charring Cross and shows, along with the ubiquitous tavern, an inebriated Freemason identified as Sir Thomas De Veil. De Veil, a magistrate known for his harsh treatment for drunkenness is supported by his servant as slops tossed from an upper window descends on the pair. More mayhem is represented by the overturned “Flying Salisbury Coach”—hardly flying as it catches fire, most likely from the torch held by the boy at the far left.

Physical Description
This print is vertically oriented with gray markings. A cream border surrounds it and it has “NIGHT” written below it. The lower half of the print has a busy street scene with lots of people taking parts of several stories (e.g. someone empting a chamber pot on people on the street, a tipped over carriage that is being set on fire, a quack doctor performing an operation in a candlelit room). The upper half of the print shows the tops of the buildings that line the street, iron-wrought shop signs, a statue of a man on horseback in the distance, and a crescent moon in a cloudy sky.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
intaglio print

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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coaches (carriages)
fires (events)
people (agents)

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& Author Notes

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