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Strolling Actresses Dressing In A Barn

William Hogarth (English, 1697-1764)


The mundane domesticity and shabby surroundings of this troupe of traveling actors contrasts with the Olympian gods they are about to play in “The Devil to Pay in Heaven,” as advertised on the play bill on the trundle bed. This was to be their last performance before the enactment of the Licensing Act of June 24, 1737, which forbade performances outside of London and doomed strolling troupes of actors touring the provinces, as portrayed here.

William George Sullivan; given to the John Herron Art Institute, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1930.

Object Information

artist
William Hogarth (English, 1697-1764)
creation date
1738
materials
etching and engraving
dimensions
16-3/4 x 21-1/4 in. (image)
17-1/4 x 23-3/8 in. (sheet)
mark descriptions
"Invented, Painted, Engraved and Published by William Hogarth, March the 25th, 1738. According to Act of Parliament"
accession number
30.1001
credit line
Gift of William George Sullivan
copyright
Public Domain
collection
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
colors