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

Artwork details

William Hogarth 1697–1764
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
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund 1983
Not on display

Display caption

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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