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Falstaff examining his recruits


RCIN 913491

Hogarth made this rapid drawing in preparation for an oil painting. It shows a scene from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part II, with Falstaff as a corrupt recruiting officer, leaning back in his chair to accept bribes. Hogarth may have seen the play performed at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre in 1729 – 30, recording the positioning of the figures in this hasty sketch. In the Royal Collection by 1833 Cat. 80

    The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.