Time smoking a picture
10 Nov 1697 - 25 or 26 October 1764
This is Hogarth's most consciously learned image, using quotations from classical texts to support his challenge to the gentlemanly taste for old and darkened Italian paintings. From the 1730s onwards he railed consistently against the taste for dubious old master paintings authenticated by dealers and 'dark masters'. Time's scythe pierces the canvas, making the point that time is not a beautifier but a destroyer.
etching and mezzotint
24.7 x 18.5 cm platemark; 42.5 x 29.2 cm sheet
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Purchases and acquisitions for 1952, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Mar 1953–24 May 1953
18th and 19th century prints and drawings from the University's collection, War Memorial Art Gallery, University of Sydney, Sydney, 28 Mar 2001–11 May 2001
Referenced in 1 publication
Ronald Paulson, Hogarth’s graphic works, London, 1989, pp 173–74, no 208, illus p 406.