(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Restoration theater

A trick of perspective…


William Hogarth (1697-1764) was a British  painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist sometimes credited with beginning the tradition of sequential art in Western culture (by virtue of his series of paintings depicting the rise and fall of a dandy, A Rake’s Progress).

Two centuries before M.C. Escher and his play on perspective, Hogarth created Satire on False Perspective. Subtitled, “Whoever makes a DESIGN without the Knowledge of PERSPECTIVE will be liable to such Absurdities as are shown in this Frontifpiece,”  there are in fact quite a few absurdities buried within it.  Click here for a larger version of Satire, and see how many you can spot…

Hogarth provided no key, but Wikipedia has accumulated a list of (so far) 22.  To get you started:  notice that the tavern sign is overlapped by two distant trees.

[TotH to Scientific Americanfrom whence the image above]


As we train our eyes on the vanishing point, we might spare a thought for Aphra Behn; she died on this date in 1689.  A monarchist and a Tory, young Aphra was recruited to spy for King Charles II; she infiltrated Dutch and expatriate English cabals in Antwerp during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.  But on her return to London, George II turned out to be a stiff; despite her entreaties, the King never paid her for her services. Penniless, Aphra turned to writing, working first as a scribe for the King’s Company (the leading acting company of the time), then as a dramatist in her own right (often using her spy code-name, Astrea, as a pen name).  She became one of the most prolific playwrights of the Restoration, one of the first people in England to earn a living writing– and the first woman to pay her way with her pen.  She was buried in Westminster Abbey, where the inscription on her tombstone reads, “Here lies a Proof that Wit can never be / Defence enough against Mortality.




Written by (Roughly) Daily

April 16, 2013 at 1:01 am

%d bloggers like this: