SINGLETON, After Henry ( 1766-1839)
Industry and Oeconomy
London: 25 March 1800. Stipple engravings, printed in colours, by Darcis (expertly repaired tear to upper margin in image area). Image size (including text): 23 1/8 x 18 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 26 3/8 x 21 inches.
A fine colour-printed stipple-engraved scene demonstrating the effects of application to life and business, after Henry Singleton.
The subject of this very fine image finds echoes in a number of earlier works, most notably William Hogarth's series titled 'The Industrious Apprentice'. The subject matter is illustrated by Samuel Collings' verses which appear with the title beneath each image. Singleton's work was extremely popular during his lifetime, and the present image certainly shows that he merited that popularity. The original was probably produced as a commission from Darcis as Singleton is known to have come to specialise in works that were intended as artwork for engravers. It is unlikely that the direction of anyone's life was altered by prints produeced for moral edification, nevertheless, this depiction by Singleton does touch on the perennial almost mythological theme of a young man "coming to town" with only his willingness, wits and singlemindedness to recommend him and succeeding.