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Bartholomew Fair—held each September in the shadow of the church of St. George the Martyr in Southwark, a southern district of London—began as a general market but became a two-week place of amusement. Hogarth includes temporary stages for various plays and players who actually performed there in the 1720s, along with tightrope walkers, puppeteers, and contortionists. It was also a place of vice, as Hogarth shows, rife with gamblers, pickpockets, seducers, and peep shows. Such activities led local authorities to cancel the fair in 1762.
William George Sullivan; given to the John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1930.