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Western art

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Morning, from The four times of the day



William Hogarth


10 Nov 1697 - 25 or 26 October 1764


In this series, Hogarth, the roving satirist, takes us on a walking tour of contemporary London, exposing the folly and vice of the city’s inhabitants as we move through the districts of Covent Garden, Soho, Islington and Charing Cross over the course of a day. Hogarth’s comic and chaotic series relates to a long-standing (though more conventional) graphic tradition of representing the times of day as well as to the painting tradition of urban topography, which presented more decorous views of the city than Hogarth’s boisterous scenes. The paintings on which Hogarth’s engravings are based were probably commissioned by Jonathan Tyers, proprietor of Vauxhall Gardens, for display in the fashionable amusement park.

'Morning' is set in Covent Garden. The clock over the porch of St Paul’s Church shows 6.55. There is snow on the rooftops and icicles hanging from the eaves of Tom’s coffee house. Inside, a brawl is taking place, and a wig flies out the front door. An overdressed spinster is shown walking towards the church, accompanied by a shivering servant boy carrying her Bible. Her prim appearance and fashionable dress are in marked contrast to those around her. To the right, a pair of rakes embrace market girls. A beggar sits beside a fire lit by the vegetable seller. To the left, a woman caries her vegetables to market on her head, while two little boys lag behind on their way to school. A crowd gathers around the quack, Dr Rock, who is selling his panacea.




Media category


Materials used

etching and engraving


ii of 2 states


49.0 x 39.5 cm plate mark; 59.6 x 47.5 cm sheet

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


European Art Collection Benefactors' Fund 2015


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

William Hogarth

Artist profile

Works in the collection



William Fraser, Thence by descent

Andrew Edmunds Prints & Drawings, 2014, London/England

Referenced in 1 publication


Ronald Paulson, Hogarth’s graphic works, London, 1989, pp 103–05, no 146, illus p 327.