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Southwark Fair

William Hogarth (English, 1697-1764)

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, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1930.

Object Information

William Hogarth (English, 1697-1764)
creation date
ink on paper, etching and engraving
13-3/8 x 17-7/8 in. (image)
17-1/4 x 23 in. (sheet)
mark descriptions
Inscribed: Invented, Painted & Engraved by Wm. Hogarth 1733
accession number
credit line
Gift of William George Sullivan
Public Domain
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

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