The Hunterian: New acquisition attributed to Hogarth
(On display at The Hunterian on the Spotlight Wall with Hogarth’s relevant ‘Hudibras’ engravings from 5 February until 24 June 2016.)
New research has revealed that a recent acquisition made by The Hunterian may be an early work by English painter, engraver and satirist William Hogarth (1697-1764). Best known for his ‘modern moral subjects’, Hogarth was also a painter of portraits, history and a leading engraver.
The research has been carried out by Hunterian curator Peter Black and an article making the case will be published in the April issue of the British Art Journal.
The work in question was acquired by The Hunterian from a private collection in 2013. It is painted on domestic pine panelling and illustrates a scene from ‘Hudibras’, the 17th-century satirical poem by Samuel Butler about life just after the English Civil War.
The painting, which the research dates to c.1724-6, reveals that in addition to working as an engraver, the young Hogarth made decorative paintings in patrons’ houses. The panel formed part of a ‘painted room’ and although it is not known how the painting was separated from its original interior setting, it may provide the first concrete evidence of Hogarth’s activity as a house painter, which is mentioned in an anecdote from 1810 (Nichols and Steevens).
The significance of this research is far reaching. Attributions are made all the time and there is no official court that decides, however, if other experts agree that the work is genuine, an oil painting will be added to Hogarth’s oeuvre which predates his earliest known work, ‘The Beggar’s Opera’ of 1728, by some four years.
The attribution to Hogarth hinges on the relationship between the painting and two sets of ‘Hudibras’ engravings by Hogarth. The later, larger set of 1726 has a similar scene, ‘Hudibras Triumphant’, but the subject is absent from the earlier book illustrations.
Although Hogarth’s ‘Hudibras’ prints are now among his least familiar works, his artistic success began with these illustrations which were popular and much copied by engravers exploiting the valuable print market, as well as by decorative painters.
Visitors to the Hunterian Art Gallery can make up their own minds about the work as it will be displayed on the Spotlight Wall with Hogarth’s relevant ‘Hudibras’ engravings from 5 February until 24 June 2016.
William Hogarth, Hudibras Triumphant, c.1724-5 © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2016.
Hunterian Art Gallery
University of Glasgow 82 Hillhead Street Glasgow G12 8QQ
Open Tuesday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm and Sunday 11.00am – 4.00pm
- Only You GFT
- Tell It To The Bees GFT
- Our Time, GFT
- Varda by Agnes GFT
- CineRoma at Govanhill International Festival
- Back to the future: 1979-1989 Film Screenings at Kelvin Hall
- African Film Touring Programme Summer 2019
- Dance with a Stranger, GFT
- Eatfilm at Sloans presents Black Panther
- Africa in Motion Africa 3.0: Vanity CCA
- Gaza GFT
- Gwen, GFT
- Matchbox Cineclub + Sad Girl Cinema Der Fan
- Gregory’s Girl, Back to the Future at Kelvin Hall
- University of Glasgow Short Courses Open Evening 2019
- Africa in Motion Film Festival Foreign Body CCA
- Gypsy Music Short Course
- Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese GFT
- Of Fish and Foe GFT
- Special Events at Glasgow Film Theatre July 2019