Times of the Day: Evening

Times of the Day: Evening

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

Date: 1738
500 x 420 mm
Medium: Engraving
Object number: PT1100
1738. Engraving. 50.0 x 42.0 cm
State 3. Engraver: William Hogarth (1697-1764)
Below plate: Evening. Invented, Painted & Publish'd by Wm. Hogarth March 25, 1738. according to Act of Parliament Engrav'd by B. Baron Price 5 shillings
Poulson 148
Unlike the other scenes in this series this takes place on outskirts of London in Islington, the northern edge of London during Hogarth's times. During the late 17th century Islington had became a popular retreat from the City following the opening of the Islington Spa where the wealthy would come to take the waters and enjoy the country air.

A cow that is being milked in the centre of the scene marks the rural setting and the time. The milkmaid's squeezing of the cow's teats might be a humorous allusion to the fondling the female's breast in the pervious scenes.

An inn sign shows the picture of Sir Huge Middleton, the Welsh philanthropist who became famous for bringing fresh running water to London in 1613.
In the beer garden customers are enjoying the nice evening weather, or they may have gone to the garden to escape the foul tobacco that is coming from the patron's pipes inside the inn.

A woman is about to enter the stone entrance of the Sadler's Well theatre. Originally known as the "Musick" House and built by Richard Sadler it became haunt of the fashionable London elite. But by the 1730s Sadler's Wells was satirised for having a down market clientele consisting of tradesmen and their snobbish wives. A dyer and his wife and children are crossing the footbridge over the New River. The large and heavily pregnant wife dwarfs the husband, who holds a sleeping child in his arms. The expensively dressed boy and girl follow behind their parents. Hogarth's depiction of the wife suggests that she holds the power within the family and dominates her smaller husband.
The position of the cow's horns that seem to be growing out of the husband's is a traditional sign of a cuckold (a man whose wife has committed adultery).
The fan that the wife is waving has the mythical scene of Diana and Actaeon printed on it the mythological Greek who spied on the Goddess Diana while she bathed and was turned into stag and killed by Diana's dogs. This again alludes to the dominance of the wife in their relationship.