Gallery of prints for sale

Sunday 20 February 2022

William Hogarth’s etching, “Four Heads from the Raphael Cartoons at Hampton Court”, c1729, after Raphael

William Hogarth (1697–1764)—see the inscribed account of this plate and its attribution to Hogarth

“Four Heads from the Raphael Cartoons at Hampton Court”, c1729 (published in 1781), after Raphael (aka Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (1483–1520), published by Jane Hogarth (aka Mrs. Hogarth) (1709–1789), at the Golden Head, Leicester Fields, London (as inscribed in the plate), blindstamped at lower right (“Chelsea”—a library stamp? [see]).

In Chia-Chuan Hsieh’s (2009) article, “Publishing the Raphael Cartoons and the Rise of Art-Historical Consciousness in England, 1707–1764”  (“The Historical Journal”, vol., 52, no. 4) the author makes the proposal that “this plate, when it was published in 1781 by Hogarth’s wife, was thought to be evidence of a possible joint venture by Thornhill [James Thornhill is Hogarth’s father-in-law] and Hogarth to publish a book based on the Raphael Cartoons” (p. 917). Chia-Chuan Hsieh (2009) also advises that there is a possibility that the portrayed heads in Hogarth’s etching are based on James Thornhill’s drawings from Raphael’s “Elymas Struck with Blindness” (p. 916).

Etching and aquatint on coarse handmade paper with wide margins.

Size: (sheet) 33.3 x 49.5 cm; (plate) 21.5 x 35.8 cm.

Inscribed in plate: (lower centre) “Mr. Walpole in his Anecdotes of Painting &c. Vol. IV. p. 22. speaking of the Cartoons at Hampton/ Court, observes that Sir James Thornhill "having made copious studies of the heads, hands/ and feet, intended to publish an exact account of the whole, for the use of students: but this/ work has never appeared"./ As the present plate was found among others belonging to the late Mr. Hogarth, it/ is not impossible but that it might have been engraved by him for his father-in-law Sr. James's intended publication./ Published as the Act directs May 14, 1781, by Mrs. Hogarth, at the Golden Head, Leicester Fields.”

Blindstamped at lower right corner (soft impression with the word “Chelsea”).

State ii (of ii)

Paulson 115ii (Ronald Paulson 1970, “Hogarth's Graphic Works”, 2 vols., New Haven, cat. no. 115 ii/ii).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a detailed description of this print:

See also the brief descriptions of this print at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art:;;

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with generously wide margins and a soft blindstamp at lower right. The sheet is in an excellent condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this curiously interesting etching inscribed with a fascinating account of its discovery in the belongings of “the late Mr. Hogarth” for AU$367 in total (currently US$263.57/EUR232.71/GBP193.93 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this study by Hogarth after details of four heads in Raphael’s design for the Sistine chapel, “The Conversion of the Proconsul”, c1514 (aka “Elymas Struck with Blindness”) (, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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