Two plates from a series of four, etching and engraving, various sizes
Transferred from the reference collection 1973
Hogarth's four ‘Election’ pictures, now in Sir John Soane's Museum, were begun around 1754 and completed in 1755 and partly took as their theme the Oxfordshire election of that year. The corruption of the proceedings, the power of the mob and the ultimate absurdity of the election (a Whig parliament immediately overruling the Tory victory) were among Hogarth's concerns in the series. The print based on the first of the pictures was issued in February 1755, but the remaining three were not issued until early in 1758, despite the dates given in their publication lines. In a newspaper announcement of February 1757 Hogarth attributes the delay to ‘the Difficulties he has met with to procure able Hands to engrave the Plates’. His own difficulty with the first plate ‘An Election Entertainment’ had persuaded him to look elsewhere for the engraving of the others: to Grignion for the second (T01796) and to collaboration with F.M. de la Cave and Aviline for the third ‘The Polling’, and fourth (T01797) respectively.
T01796 Plate 2: Canvassing for Votes 1758
Etching and engraving 405×537 (15 15/16×21 1/8) on paper 470×621 (18 1/2×24 7/16); plate-mark 441×557 (17 3/8×21 7/8)
Writing-engraving `CANVASSING for VOTES. Plate 11|Painted by W. Hogarth, Engrav'd by C. Grignion|Published 20th. Feb.ry 1757. As the Act directs.|To His Excellency Sr. Charles Hanbury Williams Embassador to the Court of RUSSIA. This Plate is most humbly Inscrib'd By his most Obedient humble Servant.|Will.m. Hogarth.’
LITERATURE Paulson 1970, 1, pp.226–35, no.199, 11, pls.218, 219
The second plate (of which this is the sixth state) centres on a farmer who is being offered bribes by both political parties.
Elizabeth Einberg and Judy Egerton, The Age of Hogarth: British Painters Born 1675-1709, Tate Gallery Collections, II, London 1988