Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn, 1738
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
RA Collection: Art
Engraving after Hogarth's painting Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn (c.1736-8, destroyed 1874). Hogarth first sold the print in 1737, collecting subscriptions for a set of five prints also including his Four Times of Day. The political allusions in the print relate to those of the other four prints, and in fact Strolling Actresses might be seen as a culmination or a summary of the other four prints. The subject of the print, which shows behind-the-scenes preparations for a play, might be seen as a response to the 'Vagrant Act' of 1737 which outlawed all theatricaql performances except in the three licensed royal London theatres of Drury Lane, Covent Garden and Kings's, and declared all actors punishable as 'Rogues and Vagabonds'.
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