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The  Self-Portrait

with  the  “ Analysis  of  Beauty ”

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). (Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse.) Self-portrait in full length sitting at the easel. Engraving. Inscribed: William Hogarth. 1764. 16 × 14 in (40.5 × 35.5 cm).

William Hogarth, Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse

Nagler 43 + Hogarth Catalogue Zurich, 1983, 95 with ills., both the first edition of 1758 on occasion of the appointment as court painter of George II, worked directly after the painting (colour ills. Hogarth Catalogue of the Tate Gallery, 1971/72, p. 11). “The sheet was sold heavily so that the artist could arrange repeated editions … Single modifications … in the different editions …” (Lichtenberg). The one here from 1764 with the addition “Comedy 1764” within the pillar right of the picture on the easel, otherwise with updated short caption as George II had died in 1760.

Important compared with the painting the inclusion of Analysis of Beauty (1753) as Hogarth’s artistic credo. The first of its two engravings looks out of the book leaning against the easel lower right. The shapes of the muse according to the theory of beauty with the waved line devised as its core. The portrait thus underlines quite more than the previous one of 1749 how in the long run the “Analysis” became more and more important to Hogarth. Though not agreeing with him Lichtenberg nevertheless sums up on the picture itself:

“ By the posture and the expression of the whole figure in practicing the art the portrait seems to be of even higher value than the smaller one. ”

Impression on buff paper from the plate retouched by the royal engraver James Heath (1757 London 1834) about 1822 for Craddock, Baldwin & Joy who took over Hogarth’s plates in 1818 (“Even these impressions have become relatively rare today though”, Art Gallery Esslingen 1970; and Meyers Konv.-Lex., 4th ed., VIII [1888], 625: “A fine edition”, esteemed also already by contemporary collectors of the rank of for instance an A. T. Stewart [Catalog of the Stewart Collection, New York 1887, 1221, “fine plates”]). – The wide white margin slightly foxspotting.

Offer no. 7,612 / EUR  291. / export price EUR  276. (c. US$ 319.) + shipping

William Hogarth, Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse (steel engraving)

– – – The same in steel engraving about 1840. Inscribed: William Hogarth. 7½ × 5⅝ in (19.1 × 14.2 cm).

Without “Comedy 1764” and laterally slightly shortened. The brush pot on the floor moved to the picture’s centre accordingly. – On the right trimmed to the lining edge.

Offer no. 7,613 / EUR  50. (c. US$ 58.) + shipping


„ Das Jahr 2014 geht zu Ende. Das gibt Veranlassung Ihnen sehr herzlich zu danken für viele jagdhistorische Informationen mit kunsthistorischem Charakter. Besonders dankbar bin ich für die Beschaffung des Bildes … “

(Herr W. W., 18. Dezember 2014)