Four Times of the Day presents a humorous look at outdoor life during the mid-1730s in four different parts of London (Covent Garden, St. Giles in the Fields, Sadler’s Wells, and Whitehall) over the four seasons of the year and the four times of the day. Based on a series of paintings (completed in 1736), the images spoof a Flemish narrative style called Times of Day (or point du jour) that depicted mythological figures in various pastoral settings. In Hogarth’s version, the gods and goddesses are replaced with English stock types and the bucolic countryside by well-known city streets. Chockful of interesting period details, the series presents a satirical take on society as a whole, including its hypocrisies, frivolities, and the clashes between the classes and the genders.
Although Hogarth designed all four prints (Eskenazi Museum of Art 70.1.20–.23), Evening was the only one to be engraved by the Frenchman Bernard Baron. This work is also unique in that it is the only one to include additional colors. The blue on the man’s hands indicates his occupation as a dyer, while the reddish tint to his pregnant wife’s face suggests her exhaustion in the summer heat and/or her exasperation at her cuckolded husband. These colors, applied in a technique called à la poupee, are only found in the first edition.
French (active in England), 1696–ca. 1766
after William Hogarth
Evening from Four Times of Day
Color etching and engraving on paper
Image: 17 3/16 x 14 11/16 in.; sheet: 19 3/16 x 15 7/8 in. (48.7 x 40.3 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Former Fine Arts Collection, 70.1.22