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
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
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