Politics in Print

 
The Gate of Calais, or the Roast Beef of Old England
Title The Gate of Calais, or the Roast Beef of Old England
Artist William Hogarth and Charles Mosley
Date March 1748/9 (reprinted c. 1822)
Medium Etching and engraving after a painting
Location The Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University

Returning from his second trip to Paris in 1747, Hogarth, while sketching, was arrested in Calais for espionage. This event fueled the anti-French prejudice that he visualizes in this print: Catholicism is represented by the fat and selfish monk testing English beef, while the starving French soldiers are depicted as oppressed by tyranny. To the left, behind a group of indigent people, Hogarth himself appears with his sketchbook, and with a hand already resting on his shoulder.

 

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