Hogarth's Aesthetics

Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse
Title Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse
Artist William Hogarth
Date 1758 (reprinted c. 1822)
Medium Etching and engraving
Location The Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University

Seated in front of an easel, Hogarth imagines himself as history painter (strikingly not as satirical print-maker) representing the comic muse, referring to artistic inspiration. The literary counterpart to the muse is Hogarth's own text - the Analysis - which rests against the leg of the easel. Through this deliberate placement, Hogarth reiterates his goal that the Analysis and its two illustrated plates (unfolded within the book's cover) be practical guides for artistic production.

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