Prints after William Hogarth Beggar’s Opera, Act III, engraved by William Blake 1790

Artwork details

Artist
Prints after William Hogarth 1697–1764
Title
Beggar’s Opera, Act III, engraved by William Blake
Date 1790
Medium Engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 401 x 537 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Transferred from the reference collection 1991
Reference
T06462
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

The high point in Blake's career as a commercial engraver was the commission for this engraving after Hogarth. It came from John Boydell, the leading print publisher of the day, probably sometime during early 1788. This, the largest and finest of all Blake's reproductive prints, was therefore in hand at just about the time he was working on his first relief etchings (see nos.20, 21). Possibly the fee he received for the work tided him and his wife over while this new method was developed. Blake did not immediately receive another commission from Boydell. This might have been an extra incentive to exploit the potential of relief etching.

August 2004

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