William Hogarth, Chairing the Members (Four Prints of an Election, plate 4)

Chairing the Members (Four Prints of an Election, plate 4), 1758

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

RA Collection: Art

Engraving reproducing (in reverse) the last of William Hogarth's four paintings The Humours of an Election (1754-5), his final painted cycle responding to current affairs. The paintings are now in Sir John Soane's Museum, London, which also owns another of Hogarth's celebrated cycles, A Rake's Progress.

The Humours of an Election was inspired by the notorious Oxfordshire election of 1754, in which the Whigs decided to challenge the Tory stronghold of Oxford by contesting the election, leading to a disputed result and Parliament deciding on the winner (the Whig majority in the House of Commons backing their own candidate). Hogarth depicts the four 'humours' of an election, and in this picture he sums up the chaotic results of the election. The Tory victors are carried in their chairs as part of the celebrations outside, which will be continued during the feast to be held in the building on the right.

The print is dedicated to George Hay (1715-78), a supporter of Pitt and owner of several paintings by Hogarth.

Object details

Chairing the Members (Four Prints of an Election, plate 4)
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Engraved by
Antoine Aveline (fl. ca. 1725?) and William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Object type

405 mm x 540 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
This image is from a book

Hogarth's prints. Vol. I. - [s.l.]: [n.d.]

Click here to view the book

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