William Hogarth The Dance (The Happy Marriage ?VI: The Country Dance) c.1745

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Artwork details

Artist
William Hogarth 1697–1764
Title
The Dance (The Happy Marriage ?VI: The Country Dance)
Date c.1745
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 677 x 892 mm
frame: 840 x 1050 x 70 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund 1983
Reference
T03613
On loan to Fondazione Roma Museo (Rome, Italy)

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This is a sketch for a painting in a series about a happy marriage, which Hogarth never completed. It shows a dance in the hall of an old-fashioned Jacobean country mansion. Hogarth includes a range of clearly differentiated types, from the elegant couple on the right, to the ‘country bumpkins’ further down the line. In the background a tired dancer has taken off his wig and mops his bald head in the cool night breeze at the open window.
Hogarth later adapted this design for one of the plates in his theoretical treatise, the Analysis of Beauty, published in 1753.

September 2004

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