J. Louis Darcis after Henry Singleton
Industry and Oeconomy [&] Extravagance and Dissipation
22.5 x 28 inches
A very fine pair of colour-printed stipple plate engravings by Darcis after Singleton; published in London in 1800.
In the first plate entitled Industry we see a busy scene down at the docks where everyone concerned appears to be hard at work. Cargo is being loaded onto a waiting ship and upon the quay a youthful sailor is selling his goods to a smartly attired chandler. The message is clear: hard work will bring reward.
In marked contrast, Extravagance takes us into the plush surroundings of an aristocratic drawing room where a dissolute young buck, clutching his throbbing head, faces up to the consequences of a feckless life: a squandered fortune and an inability to provide for his wife and children. Disappointment pervades the scene and we are left in no doubt that extravagant living will quickly lead to penury and moral decrepitude.
Such pairs of morality prints were hugely popular in Regency England when the Prince Regent himself was living a life of great extravagance that many considered to be ill becoming for one in line to the throne. This particular pair are in exceptionally fresh original colour and offered in their original Hogarth frames with leaded corner motifs.