(prints & paintings - 3/5)
Sarah Malcom (1732)
Sarah Malcom strangled an eighty-year-old widow, Mrs Lydia Duncombe and her companion, Elizabeth Harrison and then she cut the thoat of their seventeen-year-old maid. Two days before her execution, Thorhill and Hogarth went to Newgate prison, where she was held and Hogarth produced a portrait as well as a print.
Sarah Malcom (1732)
The Shrimp Girl (1740s?)
The Shrimp Girl (painted 1740s?)
David Garrick in the Character of Richard III (1745)
'This monumental portrait, commissioned by Mr Duncombe of Duncombe Park for the then unprecedented figure of £200, records a moment from the immensely successful production of Richard III, staged by Garrick at Goodman's Fields theatre in 1741. In the same way that Garrick's performance marked an important step in the eighteenth-century revival of Shakespeare, so Hogarth's work represents a crucial development in the evolution of history painting during the period. Hogarth shows Garrick in the tent scene (Act 5, scene 3) when Richard, on the eve of Bosworth Field, wakes in terror,' haunted by thoughts of his former victims. Richard cries out:
Give me another horse! bind up my wounds!
Have mercy, jesu! Soft! I did but dream.
0 coward conscience, bow dost thou afflict me!
Hogarth's portrayal, which draws on Le Brun's celebrated Family of Darius before Alexander the Great, shows the halting steps by both actors and artists to achieve an historically exact rendering of the past. Though such an accessory as armour, specially loaned from the Tower of London, is included in the left foreground, and Garrick is shown without his wig, his vaguely Elizabethan costume points to the relatively approximate sense of period which still dominated the British stage. Famed for his 'naturalistic' acting style, Garrick is displayed frozen with fear in a pose familiar from pictorial manuals on gesture and expression, a source widely used by Georgian actors to achieve appropriate dramatic effect. Midway between a theatrical portrait and an historical rendering of an episode from the nation's past, Hogarth's work offers a fascinating insight into eighteenth-century actors' stagecraft. At the same time, it represents an important episode in the pictorial reconstruction of British history which so preoccupied both Hogarth's contemporaries and his successors.'
David Garrick and his Wife (1757)
'One of the most celebrated English actors of all time, David Garrick was a close personal friend of Hogarth, who portrayed him on several occasions, most notably in his celebrated role as Richard III in 1745, and even designed the highly decorated chair in which he presided over meetings of the Shakespeare Club. Garrick greatly admired Hogarth, purchasing the paintings of the Election series, organizing a subscription for the artist's tombstone and composing his epitaph, with the assistance of Samuel Johnson. Though Hogarth's portrait of the actor and his wife remains unfinished, it serves as an outstanding testament to the enduring affection which linked the two men. Hogarth shows Garrick pausing for thought while he works on a prologue to Samuel Foote's comedy Taste. As he gazes dreamily into space, his wife, the dancer Eva Maria Veigel, playfully leans forward to pluck the pen from his fingers in a light-hearted subversion of the traditional theme of the (male) writer and the (female) Muse who lends him inspiration. The subject has been related to a portrait of the playwright Colley Cibber and his daughter, completed by the French artist Van Loo during his visit to England in the late 1730s (though now lost) - a further instance of Hogarth competing with a contemporary French prototype. For whatever reason, Hogarth appears to have encountered difficulties with the work, altering such details as Garrick's eyes and right hand, and failing to finish the domestic interior in which the couple is set. A candle-snuffer above the actor's head, a book case, and prints and paintings decorating the room were outlined but not properly completed by the artist, leaving the elegant interplay of the two sitters perhaps all the more strikingly apparent.'