William Hogarth, The Sleeping Congregation

The Sleeping Congregation

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

RA Collection: Art

Scene in a country church, with a preacher reading a sermon from the pulpit to a congregation, most of whom are fast asleep. The parish clerk in the centre leers at the exposed bosom of the sleeping woman on the right- as Paulson notes, devotion is here displaced from the image of the Virgin to the young woman.

This engraving was made by William Hogarth, reversing his own painting. The painting, which is one of his earliest dated picture (1728) is now in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This is the third state of the engraving- in the earlier states the motto '[Dieu] ET MON DROIT' was yet to be added to the royal arms in the top left of the image. In 1762 Hogarth returned to the plate, making further changes (such as adding warts to the face of the preacher) and adding text reading 'Retouched & Improved April 21 1762 by the Author'. The RA has impressions of states two, three and four of the print.

Object details

The Sleeping Congregation
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Published by
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Object type

252 mm x 197 mm

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

[Prints of Hogarth's works.] - [S.l.]:: [after 1772.]

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

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