William Hogarth Prints – Columbus Breaking the Egg.
An old fable, applied here to Columbus. As related by Girolamo Benzoni, after admiration for Columbus’s discoveries waned and success turned to envy, his enemies began to assert that anyone could of thought of his plan and carried it out. Columbus challenged his detractors to balance an egg upright on the table. All failed, so Columbus, smashing the base of the egg, thus managed to place it upright. The ‘Line of Beauty’ promoted in the Analysis, is here echoed in the eels on a platter on the table.
William Hogarth, (born November 10, 1697, London, England—died October 26, 1764, London). The first great English-born artist to attract admiration abroad, best known for his MORAL and satirical engravings and paintings—e.g., A Rake’s Progress (eight scenes,1733).
His attempts to build a reputation as a history painter and portraitist, however, met with financial disappointment. His aesthetic theories had more influence in Romantic literature than in painting.