The recruiting sargeant

image the recruiting sergeant




The recruiting sargeant

Production date





height: 73cm
width: 92cm


Oil painting of a busy scene in front of a rustic pub, as a man in smart red military uniform shakes hands with a working man. Pub customers and passers-by look on.

From the collection of Alexander Chalmers.

Production person

Collet, John

Production person note

John Collet was born in London and was the son of a government official. He studied at St. Martin’s Lane Academy, and lived in Chelsea. He exhibited with the Free Society of Artists from 1761-1783, and at the Society Room in the Strand in 1762. Edward Edwards describes Collet’s work as follows: “... the favourite subjects of his pencil were pieces of humour, somewhat in imitation of Hogarth, less satirical than narrative, more ludicrous than witty, and oftentimes displeasing, without conveying any moral instruction.” Excerpt from a documentation of an art exhibition in The Gentleman’s Magazine, May 1767: “Mr. Collet, James Street, Covent Garden, No. 81, 82. The colouring of Hogarth is here greatly excelled, his humour agreeably kept up, and was this painter not to follow him in his debauched scenes, but to keep to innocence only, he would be surpassed by none of his contemporaries. Mr. Collet imitates the manner of Hogarth with great success; he has shown a great deal of humour both in his Recruiting Sergeant and The Rescue, or the Taes Triumphant; he is very much improved in his colouring, since the last exhibition.” Many prints were engraved after his pictures. He lived in Chelsea for most of his life and died there in 1780. The V&A has two of his water-colours.

Object number

CH 1996.16

On display?


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