Category Archives: prints and drawings

prints and drawings

Pug the Painter, satire of Hogarth

Pug the Painter Following the Example of Messrs Scumble Asphaltum & Varnish. … [at foot]: To the Despisers of all pretended Connoisseurs & all Imitators (but those of Nature) this plate is most humbly dedicated … [London], [ca. 1754-1757]. Etching and dry point (289 x 214 mm). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process.

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired this rare print, designed after William Hogarth’s self-portrait, ca. 1757 [left] and originally sold in a portfolio under the title “The Caricatures on Hogarth by Paul Sandby,” further labelled “Retrospective Art, from the Collection of the late Paul Sandby, Esq. R.A.,” priced M. 6s (note, on this sheet the 1s/price partly erased). While no longer attributed to Sandby, the print makes a fascinating and complex satirical attack on Hogarth. Frederic Stephens’s 1877 Catalogue of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum explains:

“3277. “Pug the Painter following the example of Mess” Scumble Asphaltum & Warnish.” “O imitatores servum pecus * [By Paul Sandby.] Publish’d according to Act of Parliament … [1754]. An etching; on a pedestal which is decorated with a wigged and spectacled head of “Ignorance & self conceit”, and inscribed “THE IDEA Box of A coxoissevil”, is seated an ape, painting “Moses striking the Rock”, a picture in the manner of Rembrandt. He is exclaiming, “A marrellous effect by G—d”.

Behind him is a book inscribed, “A Journal of my trarels from Rome to Rotterdam I had the supreme happiness of touching Raphael scu LL that dirine scroll”.

… On a table are the “100 Gilder print” rolled up, and an open book, named “Shakespear alter’d by T. Tasteless FRS thou Nature art NoT my Goddess”.

Stephens makes the suggestion that Philip Dawe or Dawes (died 1832) was responsible for this print. Dawe was a British printmaker who lived at the same time as Hogarth, known for his mezzotints and political caricature but the suggestion has not been accepted by others.

The text refers to quotations from Horace: “O imitators, servum pecus” (Imitators, a servile herd) and the opening words of the aphorism “Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque revenit” (Though you may drive out nature with a pitchfork, she will nonetheless return).

Hogarth’s attacks on amateur gentleman connoisseurs and his frustration at the privileging of Old Masters are alluded to by placing the central figure on a plinth with the motto “The Idea Box of a Connoisseur.” Beneath the design is engraved: “To the Despisers of all pretended Connoisseurs & all Imitators (but those of Nature) this plate is most humbly dedicated.”

This animosity towards amateurs is mocked by representing Hogarth as an amateur himself, referring to his rejection of the ‘Raphaelite’ style and implying that this results from Hogarth’s own lack of taste.

An owl, labelled A Compleat Connoisseur, sits on a volume titled Odes to Dullness and  speaks to the painter, “I think Mr Pug, you may keep down your Sky a little more.” One claw holds a note that reads “A Catalogue of some Capital pictures lately consigned from abroad.” Bags of money sit below.



The print comes with with a statement by the dealer, “Pug the Painter attempts to construct an artistic identity for Hogarth based upon notions of incompetence, hypocrisy and artifice. It takes the painter’s objections to academic painting, and inverts this to cast Hogarth as a bad painter, incapable of achieving the visual perfection of nature.”

At the same time, Graphic Arts acquired this early broadside catalogue of Hogarth prints.

Jane Hogarth (1711-1789), A Catalogue of Hogarth’s Original Works. To be had of Mrs. Hogarth, at her house, at the Golden Head, Leicester Fields. London, 1784. Handbill (335 x 207 mm). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

In 1767 William Hogarth’s widow Jane Hogarth, who owned his copper plates, was granted a further twenty years of copyright by Parliament. In January 1783 Jane Hogarth announced in the Daily Advertiser that the plates she was reprinting had not been retouched since her husband’s death (Paulson, Hogarth Graphic Works, pp. 19-20).

This broadside catalogue of prints available from Jane not only lists the prints and the series, sizes, and prices, but several measurements are corrected by a contemporary hand. A folio of all prints is also offered, “By Purchasing the Whole together they will be delivered for Thirteen Guineas,” as is the book, Analysis of Beauty. Only the British Library and Yale University hold other copies of the sheet.

“The following extract is from John Rocque’s map of 1746, three years before Hogarth purchased the house. The map shows the house to the northwest of the village of Chiswick, the last in the lane approaching Chiswick Common Field. I have circled the house in red.”–

Is it Blanche of Castile or Christina of Sweden, or just a representation of courage?

Charles de, baron d’Auteuil Combault. Blanche Infante De Castille (Paris: A. de Sommaville 1644). Four parts in one volume. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process.

In the year 1200, the twelve-year-old Prince Louis of France was married to Blanca de Castilla, then aged eleven. Her grandmother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, traveled to Castile in order to accompany her granddaughter to the wedding. Twice regent of France, Blanche reigned for some eight years between 1226 and 1234, when her son, Louis IX, came of age and again from 1248 to 1252 when her son went away on Crusade.

Dealer’s note:
Only edition of this feminist life of the virago Queen Blanche of Castile (1188-1252). She raised three armies to defend France, assembled two fleets to invade England, suppressed internal revolts, negotiated with hostile powers, exchanged territory to political advantage, secured the throne for her son Louis IX through diplomacy and force, governed France while he led the Seventh Crusade, patronized the arts, collected books, and protected the Jews. In his opening essay, Combault (1588-1670) advocates women as heads of state.

Proverbs 31:26 phe os suum aperuit sapientiae et lex clementiae in lingua eius = She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue

This marvelous frontispiece was designed by the French artist Grégoire Huret.

Kirsti Andersen, The Geometry of an Art (2008) writes “The draughtsman and engraver Grégoire Huret (1610-1670)-—an academician who was also close to the king—-took over Bosse’s lectures at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture… . In 1670, Huret published Optique de portraiture et peinture (Optics of Portraying and Painting) in which he expressed great concern about the state of the art, particularly criticizing Bosse’s book from 1665 and previous publications on Desargues’s method.”

Note, the same allegorical print is used again in 1658 [below] for this book dedicated to Christina of Sweden (1625-1689), published in Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac (1597-1654), Aristippe ou de la cour (A Paris: chez Augustin Courbé, au Palais, en la Galerie des Merciers, à la Palme, 1658). The bottom text has been burnished out and the new book title engraved.



Ungherini, Manuel de bibliographie … des femmes célèbres I: 77
Chevalier, Répertoire des sources…du Moyen âge. Bio-bibliographie I: 610
Cioranescu 8987 (“4 vols.”).

“Animos curasque induta viriles”  ? She represents masculine courage

Leonora Carrington

In honor of Princeton University’s new course: Along the Edge: Leonora Carrington, the Graphic Arts Collection acquired the limited edition portfolio, Leonora Carrington, Cinco Grabados, copy 3 of 30, purchased in part with funds provided by the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS).

The five engravings, with etching and aquatint, were printed at Tiempo Extra Editores, an artists workshop founded in 1989 by Emilio Pavan Stoupignan. Also included is a single poetry broadside signed by Carrington (1917-2011), with text beginning, “Dog, come here into this dark house.” Each paragraph or verse addresses the swan, the coyote, the Shaman & cat, and three cats.

The interdisciplinary class, taught by Jhumpa Lahiri, will focus entirely on Leonora Carrington, the British-born Mexican printmaker, surrealist painter, and novelist.

“Students will be asked to respond to Carrington’s oeuvre both critically and creatively, writing essays, responses, and imaginative texts inspired by a close reading of Carrington’s idiosyncratic fiction and by studying her prints, drawings and paintings, which are part of the Princeton Art Museum’s permanent collection. Knowledge of French and/or Spanish is recommended but not required, as we will also look at some of Carrington’s writing in the original languages of composition, and consider questions linguistic migration and experimentation.”

Note, a search on Carrington in the online catalog now includes the entire holdings of the Princeton University Art Museum, along with the Graphic Arts Collection and other library holdings.

The Confession and Dying Words of Samuel Frost

Samuel Frost (1765-1793), The Confession and Dying Words of Samuel Frost, Who is to be Executed This Day, October 31, 1793, for the Horrid Crime of Murder (Worcester, Mass.: Printed by Isaiah Thomas, 1793). Signed in plate, lower right: “Printed and sold at Mr. Thomas’s Printing office, in Worcester.” Graphic Arts Collection GA 2012.02795

“Executions were pubic events in Worcester’s early days, attracting huge crowds and creating a carnival-like atmosphere. The hanging of Samuel Frost on November 5, 1793, was said to have drawn two thousand spectators. Frost had been tried for murdering his father in April 1784 but was acquitted on the grounds of insanity. Records don’t show whether he spent any time in confinement, but on July 16, 1793, he murdered his employer, Captain Elisha Allen of Princeton [Massachusetts], during an argument in a field on Allen’s farm. Frost struck him more than fifteen times with the blade of a hoe and left his body lying on the ground. This time there was no acquittal. At the trial, he was found sane and sentenced to death.” —Rachel Faugno, Murder & Mayhem in Central Massachusetts (2016).

sheet 52.5 x 43.7 cm.


“The first cemetery in Princeton [above] was the old burying ground on Meeting-House Hill across the road from the first church building, near 58 Mountain Road. In those early days the burying-ground (God’s Acre) was invariably an adjunct to God’s house. …Here is the grave Capt. Elisha Allen “foully murdered by Samuel Frost” in July, 1793, ten years after Frost had killed his own father. Formerly acquitted on the plea of insanity, the murderer this time paid the penalty for his crime, being hanged in Worcester on October 31, 1793.” —


The Eagle of Vienna

On May 23, 1846, a crowd gathered in the Prater, a large public park in Vienna’s 2nd district. They watched as an enormous hot air balloon, known as The Eagle of Vienna, was launched carrying the director of Lehmann’s Aviation, Christian Lehmann, his daughter Carolina, and the Austrian explorer/naturalist Johann Natterer (1787-1843).

Variant prints are held in the collection of the Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. [see below]

Andreas Geiger (1765-1856), Lehmann’s Luftfahrt mit seinem Riesen Ballon ‘der Adler von Wien’ in Gesellschaft seiner Tochter Carolina und des Herrn Dr. Natterer im Prater am 23. Mai 1846,” [Lehmann’s aviation with its giant balloon ‘the eagle of Vienna’ in the company of his daughter Carolina and Dr. Natterer in the Prater on May 23, 1846]. Etching. A special pictures supplement to the Theaterzeitung (Vienna Theater Newspaper). Harold Fowler McCormick Collection of Aeronautica, Princeton University Library


George Washington as a Freemason

One of the many artists to reinterpret Gilbert Stuart’s 1796 portrait of George Washington [above] was Peter Frederick Rothermel (1817-1895) who painted a variant oil on canvas in the 1800s. Engraver Alexander Hay Ritchie (1822-1895) turned Rothermel’s portrait into a rich mezzotint [top right], published in 1852 by R.A. Bachia and Company in New York City and elsewhere. Rather than a gesturing right hand, Washington rests his hand on a generic book.

Book and print seller John Dainty had a shop at 15 S. 6th Street in Philadelphia where he sold decorative oval engravings and portraits of well-known Americans. Dainty published a variation on Ritchie’s mezzotint entitled Washington as a Mason, dressing him in a masonic collar, jewel, and apron. His right hand now holds a book titled Ancient Masonic Constitutions, and his left hand holds a gavel upon a pedestal. The print is not dated but ca. 1860.

A.H. Ritchie after Peter F. Rothermel after Gilbert Stuart, Washington as a Mason, ca.1860. Mezzotint with engraving. George Washington Collection box 3, Graphic Arts

Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Paul Revere were also Masons. Washington entered the Fraternity of Freemasons in 1752 at the age of twenty:

“On Saturday evening, November the fourth, 1752, in the little village of Fredericksburg, in England’s ancient and loyal Colony and Dominion of Virginia, at a regular stated meeting of “the Lodge at Fredericksburg,” held in its Lodge-room, in the second story of the Market-House, Major George Washington was made an Entered Apprentice Mason.” — Proceedings of the right worshipful Grand lodge of the most Ancient and honorable fraternity of free and accepted masons of Pennsylvania: and masonic jurisdiction thereunto belonging, at its celebration of the sesqui-centennial anniversary of the initiation of Brother George Washington into the fraternity of freemasons (Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, 1902).

See more about Washington’s activities with the Masons:

A Red Letter Day

Isaac Robert Cruikshank (1789-1856), The Air Balloon or the Ascension of Drury, April 1821. Hand colored etching. Graphic Arts Collection

When actor Edmund Kean (1787-1833) broke a contract with the Drury Lane Theatre and sailed to America in October 1820, actor/manager Robert Elliston (1774-1831) had to come up with an equally charismatic performer or the theater would go bankrupt.

He signed a contract with an unknown nineteen-year-old soprano named Mary Ann Wilson (1802-1867) who made her debut at the Drury Lane on January 18, 1821, as Mandane in Thomas Augustine Arne’s Artaxerxes. She was an immediate sensation and remained there until July 5, singing for about 65 nights. The Morning Post declared that “the unparalleled and highly merited success of the incomparable fair warbler of Drury, has already obtained for her the distinguishing appellation of ‘The Wilson’.”

In advertising her upcoming performance Elliston used red lettering for the first time at a major theater. The Times‘s reviewer wrote “Miss Wilson, who has made her debut at Drury Lane, has not shamed the prologue which announced her. We were sadly afraid, we confess, that Mr. Elliston’s red letters would amount to little or nothing, but we have been agreeably disappointed. The lady is a powerful singer. . .”

No less than King George IV (peeking out on the right) came to see her perform on February 6, 1821 along with his royal brothers, the Dukes of York and Clarence. By April, the theater’s success was so great that Isaac Robert Cruikshank drew this print showing the Drury Lane being lifted out of dependency and the weight of debt by the aria “The Soldier Tir’d of War’s Alarms,” which was Wilson’s climactic song in the third act.

In the print, Elliston is seen waving his hat from the basket and Kean, labeled “the deserter,” performs Richard III far away in America, exclaiming, ‘Twas but a Dream [‘I did but dream’, Richard III, v. iii].


Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778), The Soldier Tired of War’s Alarms, Sung in Artaxerxes, Composed by Dr. Arne (New York: J.A. & W. Geib at their Piano Forte Warehouse and Wholesale & Retail Music Store, between 1818-1821).

A General Display of the Arts and Sciences

162 figures have been counted in this monumental engraving composed by Charles LeClerc I and dedicated to Louis XIV. The print has been revised and reused many times, this impression for the 1788 New Royal Encyclopædia. It found its way to Princeton in the Harold Fowler McCormick Collection of Aeronautica assembled by Harold Fowler McCormick, Class of 1896, and given to the library by Alexander Stillman.  See more: Maurice H. Smith, “Travel by Air before 1900,” Princeton University Library Chronicle 27 (1966), pp. 143-147 [ full text],

Charles Grignion (1721-1810) after Sébastien LeClerc (1637-1714), A General Display of the Arts and Sciences, no date. Engraved frontispiece to volume one of William Henry Hall (died 1807), The New Royal Encyclopædia; or, Complete Modern Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, on an improved plan. Containing a new, universal, accurate, and copious display of the whole theory and practice of the liberal and mechanical arts, and all the respective sciences, ... In three volumes…. assisted by other learned and ingenious gentlemen (London: printed for C. Cooke, [1788]).

This was a revision of Le Clerc’s earlier engraving:

Sébastien Leclerc I (1637–1714), L’Académie des Sciences et des Beaux-Arts, 1698. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1962 (62.598.300).

After the original pen and ink study:

Sébastien Leclerc I (1637-1714), The Academy of Sciences and Fine Arts, pen and black and grey ink, with grey wash, over red chalk, on two joined pieces of paper, with many smaller pieces inlaid and overlaid, ca. 1698. British Museum

Netherlandish Perspective Views


The Graphic Arts Collection is the fortunate new owner of eight 18th-century optical views from The Netherlands, meant to be viewed with a zograscope. These are early hand colored etchings on heavy wove paper without any title printed either above or below the view. Thanks to our donor Bruce Willsie, Class of 1986. Several have a hand-written note taped to the back and others can be identified online. Any additional information would be appreciated.

Can you figure out the reason for the second story hut?

These are not “hold to light” prints, there are no holes or treatment to light up the windows or stars when placed in front of a light. It is possible they were meant to be but never finished, just as the titles have not been printed.

Vue du coté du Port pres la Tour Abbaije à Middelbourg


Gezicht van de Oude Waalse-Kerk (Face of the Old Walloon Church), Amsterdam, ca. 1783.


The Ball once struck off,
Away flies the Boy
To the next destin’d Post,
And then Home with Joy.

Thus Seamen, for Lucre
Fly over the Main,
But, with Pleasure transported
Return back again.

Now online is a digital copy of Sinclair Hamilton’s: A little pretty pocket-book: intended for the instruction of amusement of little Master Tommy, and pretty Miss Polly. With two letters from Jack the Giant-Killer: as also a ball and pincushion: the use of which will infallibly make Tommy a good boy, and Polly a good girl: To which is added, A little song-book, being a new attempt to teach children the use of the English alphabet, by way of diversion . . . First Worcester edition (Printed at Worcester, Massachusetts: By Isaiah Thomas, and sold wholsesale and retail at his bookstore, MDCCLXXXVII [1787]). 11 cm, 64 woodcuts. Digital: Graphic Arts Collection Hamilton 115s; also in Cotsen Eng 18 8136

Compare Princeton’s copy to the Library of Congress:

This is a reprint of Newbery’s edition originally published in London in 1744; first published in the United States by Hugh Gaine in 1762 as A Little Pretty Book. According to Hamilton, the mention of baseball on p. 43 might be the first. It predates other possible baseball “firsts.”

“The earliest known mention of baseball in the United States was in a 1792 Pittsfield, Massachusetts by law banning the playing of the game within 80 yards of the town meeting house. Another early reference reports that “base ball” was regularly played on Saturdays on the outskirts of New York City (in what is now Greenwich Village) in 1823. …The booming port city of New York had more than 120,000 residents in 1823, according to the census, and its warren of cobblestone lanes had pushed as far north as present-day Canal Street. The Retreat mentioned in the article was a two-acre rural estate that in 1822 became the site of a tavern run by a man named William Jones.–

It also pre-dates the mention of the first game at The Retreat in New York City. “… articles appeared April 25, 1823; they indicate that some form of the game was even then being called ”base ball” and was played in Manhattan. … The game was played on the west side of Broadway between what is today Eighth Street and Washington Place in Greenwich Village, long before anyone dreamed of putting on a pinstripe uniform.–


New York Daily Times December 19, 1854: 3.

More on the Gotham Club: