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This is one of the few surviving panels painted by Hayman and his assistants between 1738 and 1760 to decorate the supper boxes at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. The idea of using Vauxhall for the public display of contemporary paintings was Hogarth’s. To thank him, Vauxhall’s proprietor, Jonathan Tyers, awarded Hogarth with a perpetual free entry ticket. The panels, which took their style from light-hearted decorative French engravings of the 1730s, were one of the great attractions of this fashionable venue and contributed greatly to the spread of French Rococo taste in England.

September 2004