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William Hogarth, Self-portrait

The Self-Portrait with
“The Line of Beauty And Grace”

“From the Original Picture in the Collection of John & Josiah Boydell”

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). William Hogarth. Half-length self-portrait as mirror image on top of – outside of the oval – folios with his favorite dog Trump and palette, enclosed by drapery as a symbol of the mysterious reflecting upon the mirror. Stipple by Bartolozzi’s pupil Benjamin Smith (London c. 1754 – Somers Town, London, 1833). Inscribed: Painted by W. Hogarth. / Engraved by Benj. Smith. / William Hogarth. / From the Original Picture in the Collection of John & Josiah Boydell. / Published June 4, 1795 by J. & J. Boydell, No. 90, Cheapside, & at the Shakspeare Gallery Pall Mall. 15½ × 11¾ in (39.5 × 30 cm).

Nagler 33 and, Smith, 4. – Posthumous version of the pictorial self-portrait of 1745 for the first complete edition (1790-1809) published by Boydell as the original plate of 1749 was lost due to further use by Hogarth in 1763 (see The Bruiser and Thomas Cook’s engraving of 1801) and contrary to that in the same direction as the painting. Otherwise with legible titles for two of the three tomes: Shakespeare and Swift Works resp.; the third being Milton, and the full palette inscription “The Line of Beauty / And Grace / WH 1745” as the artistic credo elucidated in his Analysis of Beauty of 1753:

“ The famous line with which Hogarth had baited the palette in his selfportrait is hardly more than incidental to a wideranging survey of the visual resources of art and their roots in nature. This in itself was original ”

(Cat. Tate Gallery p. 74).

Later impression on sturdy paper (“Even these became 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”]). – Diagonal marginal box pleat still affecting the right margin of the picture and a further horizontal one weakly perceptible for just a few cm above the folios. Backed dog’s ear upper right. The wide white margin foxstippled and with faint tidemark lower left.

Offer no. 7,610 | EUR 220. (c. US$ 255.) + shipping


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(Herr R. L., 6. Februar 2019)