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Like many other Acts of Parliament , it was inaccurately worded, and very inadequate to the evil it professed to cure; for Lord Hardwicke determined that no assignee, claiming under an assignment from the original inventor, could receive advantage from it: though after Hogarth's death, the Legislature, by Stat.

In , at the particular desire of a nobleman, whose name deserves no commemoration, he engraved two prints, entitled Before and After.

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There are few examples of this artist making designs from the thoughts of others. The Sleeping Congregation, Distressed Poet, Enraged Musician, Strolling Actresses, Modern Midnight Conversation, and many genuine comedies of a new description, where the humour of five acts is brought into one scene, were the productions of his own mind. From these and other mirrors of the times, he was considered as an original author; and being now in the plenitude of his fame,—conceiving himself established in reputation, and conscious of being first in his peculiar walk,—he, on the 25th of Jan.

Every bidder shall have an entire leaf numbered in the book of sale, on the top of which will be entered his name and place of abode, the sum paid by him, the time when, and for which picture. That on the last day of sale, a clock striking every five minutes shall be placed in the room; and when it hath struck five minutes after twelve, the first picture mentioned in the sale book will be deemed as sold; the second picture, when the clock hath struck the next five minutes after twelve; and so on successively till the whole nineteen pictures are sold.

No person to bid on the last day, except those whose names were before entered in the book. As Mr. Hogarth's room is but small, he begs the favour that no person, except those whose names are entered in the book, will come to view his paintings on the last day of sale.

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Be that as it may, for his nineteen pictures he received only four hundred and twenty-seven pounds seven shillings,—a price by no means equal to their merit. The prints of the Harlot's Progress had sold much better than those of the Rake's; yet the paintings of the former produced only fourteen guineas each, while those of the latter were sold for twenty-two!

That admirable picture, Morning , twenty guineas,— Night , in every point inferior to almost any of his works, six-and-twenty! In one corner of this very ludicrous print he has represented an auction-room, on the top of which is a weathercock, in allusion perhaps to Cock the auctioneer. At the door stands a porter, who from the length of his staff may be high-constable of the old school, and gentleman-usher to the modern connoisseurs. As an attractive show-board, we have an high-finished Flemish head, in one of those ponderous carved and gilt frames, that give the miniatures inserted in them the appearance of a glow-worm in a gravel pit.

A catalogue and a carpet properly enough called the flags of distress are now the signs of a sale; but here , at the end of a long pole, we have an unfurled standard, emblazoned with that oracular talisman of an auction-room, the fate-deciding hammer. Beneath is a picture of St. Andrew on the cross, with an immense number of fac-similes , each inscribed ditto. Apollo , who is flaying Marsyas , has no mark of a deity, except the rays which beam from his head; he is placed under a projecting branch, and we may truly say the tree shadows what it ought to support.

The coolness of poor Marsyas is perfectly philosophical; he endures torture with the apathy of a Stoic. The third tier is made up by a herd of Jupiters and Europas, of which interesting subject, as well as the foregoing, there are dittos , ad infinitum. These invaluable tableaux being unquestionably painted by the great Italian masters, is a proof of their unremitting industry;—their labours evade calculation; for had they acquired the polygraphic art of striking off [46] pictures with the facility that printers roll off copperplates, and each of them attained the age of Methusaleth, they could not have painted all that are exhibited under their names.

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Nothing is therefore left us to suppose, but that some of these undoubted originals were painted by their disciples. Francis , the corner of which is in a most unpropitious way driven through Hogarth's Morning. Thus far is rather in favour of the ancients; but the aerial combat has a different termination: for, by the riotous scene in the Rake's Progress, a hole is made in Titian's Feast of Olympus; and a Bacchanalian, by Rubens, shares the same fate from the Modern Midnight Conversation.

Considered as so much reduced, the figures are etched with great spirit, and have strong character. In ridicule of the preference given to old pictures, he exercised not only his pencil, but his pen. Hogarth by way of precaution, not puff, begs leave to urge that probably this will be the last sale of pictures he may ever exhibit, because of the difficulty of vending such a number at once to any tolerable advantage; and that the whole number he has already exhibited of the historical or humorous kind does not exceed fifty, of which the three sets called the Harlot's Progress, the Rake's Progress, and that now to be sold, make twenty: so that whoever has a taste of his own [50] to rely on, and is not too squeamish, and has courage enough to own it, by daring to give them a place in a collection till Time the supposed finisher, but real destroyer of paintings has rendered them fit for those more sacred repositories where schools, names, heads, masters, etc.

Hogarth's pieces, will be no diminution of their value. Soon after the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle he visited France.

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A people so different from any he had before seen, and manners so inimical to his own, greatly disgusted him. Ignorance of the language, added [53] to some unpleasant circumstances that had their rise in his own imprudence, form a slight apology for these prejudices; he told them to the world in a view of the Gates of Calais, under which article I have inserted a cantata written by his friend Forest.

The portrait in a cap, with a palette, on which is the waving line of beauty and grace , he this year engraved from his own painting. Beneath the frame are three books, labelled, Shakspeare, Milton, Swift; and on one side his faithful and favourite dog Trump. As Hogarth afterwards erased the human face divine , and inserted the divine Churchill in the character of a bear, the print is become very scarce; a small copy adorns the title-page to this volume. Some despicable rhymes on the dog and painter were published in the Scandalizade.

Thus do the lines conclude:. Those who are personally acquainted with Hogarth deem this print a strong likeness: the picture is remarkably well painted, better than any I have seen from his pencil, except the head of Captain Coram, now in the Foundling Hospital. To that charity Hogarth and several contemporary painters pre [54] sented some of their performances. The attention they obtained from the public induced the members of an academy in St. Martin's Lane to attempt an extension of the plan. With this view, a letter was printed, and sent to the different artists.

As it was the cornerstone of that stupendous structure, now become a Royal Academy, I have inserted a copy, with which I was favoured by the gentleman to whom it is addressed. Academy of Painting, Sculpture, etc. Martin's Lane, Tuesday, October the 23d, If you cannot attend, it is expected that you will send your list, sealed and enclosed in a cover, directed to me, and write your name in the cover, without which no regard will be paid to it.

If you know any artist of sufficient merit to be elected a professor, who has been overlooked in drawing out the list, be pleased to write his name, according to his place in the alphabet, with a cross before it. Their measures did not meet the approbation of Mr.

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He thought that the establishment of an academy would attract a crowd of young men to neglect studies better suited to their powers, and depart from more profitable pursuits: that every boy who could chalk a straight-lined figure upon a wall, would be led, by his mamma discovering that it was prodigious natural!

In near fifty years, that have sunk like a sunbeam in the sea , the arts have assumed a new face; they at this period form a very profitable branch of our commerce, and his prophecy pertaining unto print-shops is partly fulfilled. It has been before observed that Mr.

Hogarth, in his own portrait, engraved as a frontispiece to his works, drew a serpentine line on a painter's palette, and denominated it— The line of beauty. Then indeed, but not till then, some found it out to be an old acquaintance of theirs; though the account they gave of its properties was very near as satisfactory as that which a day-labourer, who occasionally uses the lever, could give of that machine as a mechanical power.

For though the picture-copier may sometimes, to a common eye, seem to vie with the original he copies, the artist himself requires no more ability, genius, or knowledge of nature, than a journeyman weaver at the Gobelins , who in working after a piece of painting, bit by bit, scarcely knows what he is about; whether he is weaving a man or a horse; yet at last, almost insensibly, turns out of his loom a fine piece of tapestry, representing, it may be, one of Alexander's battles painted by Le Brun.

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Kennedy, a learned antiquarian and connoisseur, of whom I afterwards purchased the translation, from which I have taken several passages to my purpose. To explain this system, he in commenced author, and published his Analysis, the professed purpose of which was to fix the fluctuating ideas of taste , by establishing a standard of beauty. This he expected would be considered by his contemporaries, as the ancients considered the little soldier modelled by Policletus, the grammar of proportion, criterion of elegance, and rule of perfection.

It must be ac [59] knowledged that this was expecting somewhat more than his system deserved; but he received much less. Sheets of good copper were defaced to prove, in the first place, that there was no such line , and in the next, that he had stolen it from the ancients. Some called it the line of deformity, and others the line of drunkenness.

By a lady he was more flattered: she told him it was precisely the line [60] which the sun makes in his annual motion round the ecliptic. His book is divided into chapters, treating of fitness , variety , symmetry , simplicity , intricacy , quantity , lines , forms , composition with the waving line , proportion , light and shade , colouring , attitude , and action.

The hypothesis which he endeavours to establish is illustrated by near three hundred explanatory figures, with references to each. If the figures which compose this plate are considered independent of the volume, they will appear sufficiently incongruous. He has given us curves and curvatures, straight lines and angles, circles and squares.


He has ransacked the garden for examples, and drawn from the shops of the blacksmith, founder, and cabinetmaker, illustrations of his doctrine. To the beauteous and elegant Grecian Venus, [16] he has [61] opposed the venerable English judge, arrayed in an ample robe, with his head enveloped in a periwig like the mane of a lion. The naked majesty of the Apollo Python is contrasted with an English actor, dressed by a modern tailor and barber, to personate a Roman general. The elegant winding lines of an Egyptian sphynx are opposed by a bloated, overcharged, recumbent Silenus.

The uniform, coldly correct figures of Albert Durer's drawing-book, that never deviate into grace, to the antique torso , in which Michael Angelo asserted he discovered every principle that gave so grand a gusto to his own works. Three anatomical representations of the muscles which appear in a human leg when the skin is taken off, are placed close to a shapeless pedestal in a shoe and stocking, which by disease has, in the painter's phrase, lost its drawing.

A fine wire, properly twisted round the figure of a cone, represented in Number 26, as giving that elegant wave which adds grace to beauty, is the leading principle on which he builds his system of serpentine lines. Of this ancient grace , opposed to modern air , he could not have selected better examples than [62] Numbers 6 and 7, where Mr. Essex, an English dancing-master, places himself in such an attitude as he thinks the sculptor ought to have given the Antinous, who he is ludicrously enough handing out to dance a minuet.

Number 19 represents the deep-mouth'd Quin!