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William Hogarth (1697-1764)

Falstaff examining his recruits 1730

RCIN 913491

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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