Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse
London, J. Boydell 1809
405 x 355 mm
The famous self portrait, showing Hogarth sitting in a chair with serpentine curves (his famous Line of Beauty), holding his palette and brushes and grimly staring at his sketch of the Muse Thalia. The engravings of the Analysis of Beauty are shown in a portfolio propped against the foot of the easel and behind Hogarth’s chair is a chamberpot with a large brush resting on the top. In earlier states of this print Hogarth had been shown smiling and the sketch of Thalia was an uncomplicated classical subject. However, in his final embittered revisions of 1764 (the year of his death), he scored Thalia’s face with dark tragic lines, the mask she now holds is a Satyr’s and Hogarth has added the title Comedy 1764 to the pedestal on the sketch. Paulson 204 VII / VII.