Skip to main content

Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

250: The Roast Beef of Old England &c.

The Roast Beef of Old England &c. or The Gate of Calais

This print demonstrates the power of the stereotype of the meat-eating Briton. Engraved from Hogarth’s painting (now in Tate Britain), it commemorates his visit to Calais in March 1749 after the armistice that preceded the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in October 1748 (ending the War of the Austrian Succession). Hogarth’s arrest by French police as a spy is captured on the left of the image: a hand and halberd appear over his shoulder, as he sketches the city’s fortifications. The print reassembles confessional stereotypes, contrasting Catholic France with Protestant England through the representation of food: English beef against the Lenten fare of the French clergy.

William Hogarth (1697–1764) and Charles Mosley (c.1720 – c.1756), after the painting by Hogarth (1748), 6 March 1749 Etching and engraving

C.B. Marlay Bequest (P.4776-R)

The Roast Beef of Old England &c. Buy a print
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn RSS feed for events RSS feed for stories
University of Cambridge Museums logo Designation scheme Logo Accredited Museum status logo Cambridge City Council Logo Arts Council England Logo Research England logo