Collection online

Tragedy Burlesqued, or the Barber turned Actor

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    2010,7081.1376

  • Title (object)

    • Tragedy Burlesqued, or the Barber turned Actor
  • Description

    The interior of a barber's shop. The barber, ranting and gesticulating wildly, holds up the open tragedy of Alexander the Great; in his right hand is a pair of tongs. His hair hangs loose and on his head is his barber's basin. He is fashionably dressed, but wears an apron, which, blowing aside in his violent action, displays a large hole in his breeches. A stool, jug, &c, have been overturned, hair-pins lie on the ground, a cat flees in alarm. His little apprentice (left), holding a wig and a tress of hair, looks on with amusement, as do a man and woman (right) who look over a flight of stairs which ascends from the room.
    The room is a poor one, with plaster coming from the wall, a broken candle on the chimney-piece, over which is a torn print of a tragedy-king reclining on a couch. Two wig-boxes stand on the floor, one inscribed 'Tragedy Wigs', the other 'Comedy Wigs'.
    Mezzotint with some etching

    More 

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1785-1790
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 345 millimetres (trimmed)
    • Width: 253 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered below the image with the title and 'Printed for & Sold by Carington Bowles, // No. 69 St. Paul's Church Yard, London.'; any further inscription trimmed away.
  • Curator's comments

    Dighton's original watercolour for this print from the collection of Mr Jeffrey Rose was sold at Sotheby's, 23 February 1978, lot 72.
    The design is a parody of the famous composition by Hogarth of Garrick as Richard III, which is shown hanging on the back wall; the barber echoes his pose (AVG).

    States
    (i) lettered with the title and 'Printed for & Sold by Carington Bowles, // No. 69 St. Paul's Church Yard, London. [further inscription below the title probably exists]
    (ii) republished by Bowles & Carver; publication line altered to 'Printed for & Sold by Bowles & Carver, No.69 St. Pauls Church Yard, London. Published as the Act directs [date]' [1935,0522.1.201]

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 7473 bibliographic details
    • Russell 1926 undescribed bibliographic details
    • Chaloner Smith 1883 undescribed bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British Mezzotints Ring-binder Large)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2010

  • Acquisition notes

    Acquired with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Friends of the British Museum, the Art Fund, Mrs Charles Wrightsman, the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, and numerous individual donors.

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    2010,7081.1376

The interior of a barber's shop. The barber, ranting and gesticulating wildly, holds up the open tragedy of Alexander the Great; in his right hand is a pair of tongs. His hair hangs loose and on his head is his barber's basin. He is fashionably dressed, but wears an apron, which, blowing aside in his violent action, displays a large hole in his breeches. A stool, jug, &c, have been overturned, hair-pins lie on the ground, a cat flees in alarm. His little apprentice (left), holding a wig and a tress of hair, looks on with amusement, as do a man and woman (right) who look over a flight of stairs which ascends from the room.  The room is a poor one, with plaster coming from the wall, a broken candle on the chimney-piece, over which is a torn print of a tragedy-king reclining on a couch. Two wig-boxes stand on the floor, one inscribed 'Tragedy Wigs', the other 'Comedy Wigs'.  Mezzotint with some etching

Recto

The interior of a barber's shop. The barber, ranting and gesticulating wildly, holds up the open tragedy of Alexander the Great; in his right hand is a pair of tongs. His hair hangs loose and on his head is his barber's basin. He is fashionably dressed, but wears an apron, which, blowing aside in his violent action, displays a large hole in his breeches. A stool, jug, &c, have been overturned, hair-pins lie on the ground, a cat flees in alarm. His little apprentice (left), holding a wig and a tress of hair, looks on with amusement, as do a man and woman (right) who look over a flight of stairs which ascends from the room. The room is a poor one, with plaster coming from the wall, a broken candle on the chimney-piece, over which is a torn print of a tragedy-king reclining on a couch. Two wig-boxes stand on the floor, one inscribed 'Tragedy Wigs', the other 'Comedy Wigs'. Mezzotint with some etching

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: PPA308208

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...