William Hogarth
British, 1697 ‑ 1764
Dudley Woodbridge in His Chambers, 1730
Oil on canvas
16 1/2 × 21 3/4 × 3/4 in. (41.9 × 55.2 × 1.9 cm.)
Museum purchase, Preston Pope Satterwhite Fund  1976.30

What’s the Backstory?
Hogarth arranged this picture like a staged play. In this scene, a distinguished gentleman raises his wineglass to toast his host. A servant enters the room to deliver a letter addressed to his employer “Dudley Woodbridge, Esq.”, which is probably a message of congratulations. The occasion they celebrate may be Woodbridge’s call to the bar, which occurred around the time this canvas was painted.