Southwark Fair, 1733
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
RA Collection: Art
Engraving by William Hogarth after his own painting Southwark Fair (also called 'The Humours of a Fair', 1733, Cincinatti Art Museum), reversing the image and making significant alterations to the composition. The busy scene is filled with advertisements for theatrical performances, musicians, a rope-dancer, and other entertainments. On the far left a stage collapses, and performers cling to the scaffold to avoid falling to the ground.
As Einberg notes, the print was first advertised as 'a Fair' and only became identified with Southwark Fair several years after it was made, 'probably because it centres, however arbitrarily, on the old church of St George the Martyr, Southwark'. That church was torn down the year the print was made, and replaced with a new church soon after. Southwark Fair, held on September 7-9, was second only to Bartholomew Fair amongst London's fairs. The fair was abolished in 1762 owing to the increasing vice and distrubance.
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