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William Hogarth, Country Dance (Analysis of Beauty II)

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). (Country Dance.) Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818) together with his son. Inscribed: Pl. II. / Analysis of Beauty. / Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook & Son sc. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, July 1st. 1808. Image size 5⅝ × 7 in (14.4 × 17.8 cm).

Hogarth Catalogue of the Tate Gallery, 1971/72, 192, + Hogarth Catalogue Zurich, 1983, 77, each Hogarth’s version with illustrations.

The final sheet of Hogarth’s artistic credo Analysis of Beauty that “stirred an immense sensation” (Th.-B.) with its fine ball-like presentation of the  English  dance  (3-3⅝ × 5⅜ in [7.7-9.2 × 13.6 cm]) by which the ideal of beauty + grace is illustrated. And here especially dominating by the couple dancing front left somewhat isolated whose elegance contrasts with the more rustic appearance of the rest of the party. By the way Hogarth transformed this gentleman in the 3rd state, not without expectation, into a portrait of the future George II. On the dancing floor, partly covered by the cast-off hats of the gentlemen, the silk cushion as necessary accessories of any ball for the so-called cushion dance, a kind of cotillion. The painting The Dance of c. 1745 as picture VI of The Happy Marriage served as model for this rich scenery.

This then as symbol of the sinuous line, The Line of Beauty, as the most pleasant form to the eye. Among the numbered marginal depiction surrounding the ball scenery also the small line sketch on the posture of the dancers as the résumé of the whole.

The small repetition of the original-sized version of 1798 worked by Cook father alone. – Trimmed within the wide white platemark. Its marginal parts weakly foxing.

Offer no. 8,986 / EUR  84. (c. US$ 97.) + shipping


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