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Venus turn'd Proctor: P.14857-R

An image of Satirical print

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Venus turn'd Proctor


Printmaker: Unknown
Publisher: Sledge, Sarah




Etching on laid paper. Satirical print. A scene in a picture gallery contained within an etched border. A man in academic gown and bands and wearing a wig stands in a pose adopted from the Venus de Medici. A boy to his left holds out a dead cat which he has apparently just taken from a basket containing arrows on the floor in front of him. A halberd leans against the wall at centre right, a small bonnet speared upon its spike (the spoils of a Cambridge Proctor). On the wall are three framed pictures with titles beneath, from left to right: 'The Gentleman / and Scholar / United', 'Dead Game', a still life of two books, the Bible and 'University Statutes', from which projects a pair of clerical bands inscribed "6s 8d". An open pamphlet with the books is inscribed: 'A Sermon preached at Wisbech assizes before'. Three prints pinned beneath each picture can all be identified as satires published by Sarah Sledge, from left to right: 'The Bear, the Louse and Religion a Fable', 'Venus turn'd Proctor' and 'The Justice in the Suds'. Etched on the plate in the lower margin, a poem in three verses begins at lower left and continues at lower right: 'O Venus Beauty of the Skies, / To whom a thousand Temples rise, / Gayly false in gentle Smiles,- / In Mathematicks he was greater / Than Tycho Brake, or Erra Pater: / For he, by Geometrick Scale, / Cou'd take the Size of Pots of Ale; / Resolve by Sines & Tangents, straight; / If Bread or Butter wanted weight; / He knew What's What, & that's as high / As Metaphysick Wit can fly; / All lov'd him well, who knew his Fame, / And sent him Cats, instead of Game.'. At the centre of the lower margin, the title is etched within a double-edged border above and below: 'Venus turn'd P--ct-r'. The price is etched at lower left: 'Price 1s = 6d'. The publisher's details are etched at lower right: 'London publish'd by Mrs Sledge Henrietta Street / Covent Garden'. More information about the context of the satire can be found with the impression held at the British Museum: 1868,0808.4490.

Legal notes


Acquisition and important dates

by unknown


18th Century
Production date: circa AD 1773


Height 175mm (plate) x width 196mm (plate)

School or Style


Techniques used in production


Identification numbers

Accession number: P.14857-R
Primary reference Number: 225466
Stephens/George: 5189
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Wednesday 5 September 2018 Updated: Tuesday 1 October 2019 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Venus turn'd Proctor" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-24 06:23:13

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{{cite web|url= |title=Venus turn'd Proctor |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-24 06:23:13|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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