Gallery of prints for sale

Monday 14 February 2022

William Hogarth’s etching with engraving, “Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse”, 1764

William Hogarth  (1697–1764)

“Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse” (aka “William Hogarth, Serjeant Painter to His Majesty”; “William Hogarth 1764”), 1764, etching after the artist’s famous self-portrait, “William Hogarth, Serjeant Painter to His Majesty“, c1758, in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

I wish to draw attention to the following elements in this self-portrait: the serpentine lines of the chair exemplifying Hogarth’s principle, the “line of beauty”; the subject he is painting on the easel shows the Muse Thalia holding a mask of a satyr in one hand and a book—the attribute of Rhetoric—in the other; resting at the foot of the easel is a folio of prints titled, “Analysis”—no doubt referencing his 1753 publication of aesthetic theories (including the notion of the “line of beauty”) titled “Analysis of Beauty”.

Etching and engraving on heavy laid paper trimmed slightly irregularly around the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 40 x 33.7 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (on painted pedestal) “COMEDY/ 1764”.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (centre) “William Hogarth—1764”

State vii (of vii) with the addition of the title.

Paulsen 204 vii (Ronald Paulson 1989, “Hogarth's Graphic Works”, 3 ed., London, p.170 cat. no. 204 vii/vii).

The Library of Congress offers the following description of this print: “Print shows William Hogarth, full-length portrait, seated in a chair, facing right, before an easel with sketch labeled "Comedy 1764", he is holding a palette with brushes in his left hand and may be using a short stick to measure scale. Print depicts ‘Hogarth painting the comic muse, 1758’" (

See also the descriptions of this print offered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression but with small restorations—a few tears and a replenished area around the title of the folio “Analysis” and a replenished lower right corner. The sheet has been laid onto a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this large and important original etching (with engraving) by Hogarth which is not only a revealing self-portrait of the great artist painting his muse, “Thalia”—note that he portrays himself holding a measuring stick and has rested some brushes on a chamber pot—but is also fascinating in its reference to his theories—the serpentine “line of beauty” shown in the lines of the chair and his publication resting at the foot of the easel, “Analysis of Beauty”—for AU$396 in total (currently US$280.76/EUR248.25/GBP208 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this major etching executed by the hand of William Hogarth, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold 

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