William Hogarth
The Painter and his Pug 1745

Artwork details

William Hogarth 1697–1764
The Painter and his Pug
Date 1745
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 900 x 699 mm
frame: 1080 x 875 x 78 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1824
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1730

Display caption

Hogarth began this self-portrait in the mid-1730s. X-rays have revealed that initially it showed the artist in a formal coat and wig. He later changed these to the more informal cap and clothes seen here. The oval canvas containing Hogarth’s portrait appears propped up on volumes of Shakespeare, Swift and Milton, authors who inspired Hogarth’s commitment to drama, satire and epic poetry. On his palette is the ‘Line of Beauty and Grace’, which underpinned Hogarth’s theories on art. Hogarth’s pug dog, Trump, serves as an emblem of the artist’s own pugnacious character. This portrait acted as a statement of the artist’s professional ambition.

February 2016