Royalty, Episcopacy and Law

A later version of a print originally produced by William Hogarth in about 1724-5. The inscription, which is the same as the original version, reads, 'Some of the Principal Inhabitants of the Moon as they Were Perfectly Discovered by a Telescope broght to ye Greatest Perfection since ye last Eclipse Exactly Engraved from the Objects, whereby ye Curious may Guess at their Religion, Manners etc.'

Hogarth drew upon a well established tradition of substituting emblematic attributes for the head and body, int his case using them to satirise the nation’s institutions, office-holders and fashionable elite. Thus a coin becomes the king’s face and a pump pours coins into a bishop’s money-chest. The three figures and their retainers are shown floating in the clouds, as if seen through the lens of a telescope, here being used as a device to reveal the true essence of things. In using the Moon as the setting for his satire, Hogarth was capitalising on the interest caused by a lunar eclipse in 1724.

Object Details

ID: ZBA4565
Collection: Fine art
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Hogarth, William; Ireland, Samuel
Date made: Late 18th century
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 365 mm x 254 mm

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