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James Quin was one of London’s leading actors, and a close friend of Hogarth. Quin loved company and was known for his wit and generosity. He was short and his gluttony for which he was also well known, made him increasingly fat. Quin also had a notoriously quick temper; it was rumoured that he had killed two of his fellow-actors in duels.
Quin’s pose in this bust-length portrait is deliberately theatrical, with his head turned to the right and his eyes raised upwards.

August 2004