The foundling Moses is brought to Pharoah's daughter. Engraving by W. Hogarth and L. Sullivan, 1752, after W. Hogarth, c. 1746.

  • Hogarth, William, 1697-1764.
February 5. 1752
  • Pictures

About this work


Bible, O.T. Exodus 2.10. "Pharoah's daughter personifies the mission of the Foundling Hospital in a figure of Charity, with her extension in the steward who is paying the wet nurse. Schematically, there are two aspects to charity, the one involving love (adoption), the other hard cash and donations. But Hogarth has complicated the situation: the wet nurse being paid is in fact Moses' real mother, and the poignancy of the scene depends on the child's clinging to his real mother while warily eyeing his adoptive and ostensible mother. Behind the throne a Nubian slave whispers the secret of Moses' origin to an attendant. In the distance are a sphinx and some pseudo-Egyptian buildings; and from under the princess's chair creeps a crocodile..." (Paulson, loc. cit.) The biblical scene (Exodus 2.5) is used to refer to charity and adoption in Hogarth's day


[London] : [W. Hogarth], February 5. 1752.

Physical description

1 print : line engraving ; platemark 42 x 52 cm


And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharoahs daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses. From the original painting in the Foundling Hospital. Engrav'd by Willm. Hogarth & Luke Sullivan. W. Hogarth pinxt. Publish'd February 5. 1752 according to act of parliament.


[State with "W. Hogarth pinxt." in lettering, and with "and" instead of "&"].

References note

Ronald Paulson, Hogarth's graphic works, p. 156


Wellcome Collection 2474139i



Where to find it

  • LocationStatusAccess
    Closed stores
  • LocationStatusAccess
    Closed stores

Permanent link