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Self-portrait with dog

Painting, 1745, 70×90 cm

Description of the artwork «Self-portrait with dog»

In the legacy of William Hogarth and has a much more traditional self –portraits in front of the easelor in the official wig but the most famous is "Self-portrait with dog" (1745), because it concentrated all that was dear to Hogarth.

In form it is a "portrait in portrait", which became very popular in art Baroque. Before the oval portrait by Hogarth is important States is his favorite dog. The story even kept his name – trump. This is a real dog, not a profound allegory: the childless, the artist was so fond of animals that when one of his dogs or the birds have died, even gave them a grave directly in front of his estate.

Support "the portrait in the portrait" is a stack of books, a selection of which is also not random. Three great British writers – William Shakespeare, John Milton and Jonathan swift was not only the favorite authors of Hogarth, but in a sense the basis of the literary "pillar" of his own approach to art, his realism and satire. Moreover, with swift Hograt was not only personally acquainted, but were friends. The author of "Gulliver's" was supported by Hogarth in their mutual creative strategies to strike a satire of the vices of men – these, as expressed by swift, "bestial creatures". "The General improvement of the human race" – so formulated his task swift, and surely that purpose would have signed and Hogarth.

"How I miss you, my sarcastic friend Hogarth! Some call you cocky bully – they can understand you too truthful and categorical in their portraits!" – heartfelt wrote from Ireland swift. I must say that this categorization is often left to Hogarth's side. Once a high-ranking nobleman refused to take his portrait and to pay for it – so realistically-the ugly portrayed him Hogarth. But the artist is not confused. He sent the nobleman's letter with notification: if his lordship does not agree to pay for the work up to three days, his portrait with the addition of the tail and some interesting details will be exhibited in the city zoo.

But the charm of Hogarth lies in the fact that he looks with a degree of ridicule not only on others but also on himself. There is a perception that this self-portrait Hogarth pays himself deserved for a life full of hardship and labor. But notice how he immodestly considered himself the best painter of England, it does. Hogarth does not create a ceremonial portrait that would exalt themselves. He writes a self-portrait in the solemn silence of the creative process – with brush in hand and in an atmosphere of sacredness. On the contrary – the artist depicts himself without a wig, robe and hood home. Hogarth does not stand on ceremony with him, as he didn't pull any punches with its characters. One of the admirers of his talent rightly said "Hogarth is a typical Englishman: honest, brave and very direct".

Bottom left Hogarth writes a palette. It depicts the S-curve and the inscription The Line of Beauty and Grace - the line of beauty and attractiveness (grace). Hogarth called "serpentine line". 8 years after writing "self-Portrait with dog" artist published the treatise "the Analysis of beauty", where theoretically justified his belief that S-curve is a universal "denominator perfect": everything that we find beautiful, thought Hogarth, one way or another, is at the basis of such a curve.

Author: Anna Yesterday
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Realism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1745

Size: 70×90 cm

Artwork in selections: 17 selections