William Hogarth – Garrick in the Character of Richard III.
Garrick in the Character of Richard III. The actor David Garrick (1717-79), the greatest of eighteenth-century actors, friend of Hogarth and intimate of all the great literary figures, depicted in his most celebrated role.
Richard III was the role in which he first won great acclaim, upon his debut at Goodman’s Fields in October 1741. This view shows Richard in his tent before Bosworth Field, starting back in horror at the contemplation of his crimes.
Hogarth has depicted Garrick’s body contorted into his famous ‘serpentine’ Line of Beauty.
He later made this shape the basis of his theoretical treatise ‘The Analysis of Beauty’ published in 1753.
This first major Shakespearian picture is not just a portrait but also a grand history painting in which Hogarth emphasises England’s importance.
He believed that an incident from English rather than ancient history could be used to teach a moral lesson.
The painting is now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. Paulson 165 II/II.
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.