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Garrick  is  the  Greatest

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Fac Simile of the Proportions of Garrick and Quin. The two, both twice, outlined at the stadia rod, of which each of the outer double is marked with “a very short proportion” (Quin) and “a very tall proportion” resp. Within the autograph letter of Oct. 21, 1746. Engraved facsimile by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: From the Original in the Collection of J. P. Kemble Esqr. / T. Cook sc. / Published by Longmann, Hurst (quite pale), Rees, & Orme, Novr. 1st. 1808., title as before. 9⅞ × 13¾ in (25 × 35 cm).

William Hogath, Proportions of Garrick and Quin

“ To G H (?) to be left at the Post office at Norwich / HO (?), Siegel / Sr / If the exact Figure of Mr Quin, were to be reduced to the size of the print of Mr Garrick it would seem to be the shortest man of the two, because Mr Garrick is of a taller proportion. / examples … / Let these figures be doubled down so as to be seen but one at once, than let it be ask’d which represents the tallest man. Yours W H. ”

And left above the address :

“ The Picture from whom the Print in question was taken, was Painted from Mr Garrick big as the life, & was sold for two hundred pounds on account of its Likeness which was the reason it was call’d Mr Garrick in the Character of Richard the 3d – & not any body else ”

The latter paragraph referring to Hogarth’s mentioned painting of c. 1745, now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (Hogarth Catalogue of the Tate Gallery, 1971/72, 123 with ills.; “Portraiture and the theatre as a basis for history painting on the grand scale”). After this then the mentioned engraving, worked by Hogarth together with C. Grignon in July 1746 (Hogarth Catalogue Zurich, 1983, 73 with ills.).

On Hogarth’s pride in the good payment for the painting expressed in the letter the Tate Catalogue says :

“ The price of £ 200 paid by Mr Duncombe, who commissioned the picture, remained a matter of pride to the painter. ”

Very rare. – Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker). – Three vertical folds within the engraving, additionally right of the white platemark repeatedly sligthly pleated. If framed only limitedly perceptible. – The white upper margin faintly brown striped and not absolutely fresh.

Offer no. 14,094 / EUR  230. (c. US$ 251.) + shipping


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(Mr. M. W., from February 3 to March 7, 2011)