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William Hogarth

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

William Hogarth

by Louis François Roubiliac
circa 1741
28 in. x 7 7/8 in. (711 mm x 200 mm) overall
NPG 121

This portraitback to top

Presumably the bust described by Vertue between 2 June and October 1741: ‘Mr. Rubbilac Sculptor of Marble -besides several works in Marble - moddels in Clay. had Modelld from the Life several Busts or portraits extreamly like ... Mr. Hogarth very like'. [1] The bust is unique; no marble is known and, due to cost, none is likely to have been made unless commissioned. One of Hogarth's dogs, although not mentioned by Vertue, was also modelled by Roubiliac, [2] possibly at the same time as NPG 121 and certainly by c.1745-47, the date given on style and workmanship to a copy in Chelsea enamel surviving in the collection of T. G. Burn. A Chelsea white porcelain version, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, is unlikely to be later than 1750. [3]
Three Hogarth dogs, all pugs, can be identified. 'Pugg' was reported missing on 5 December 1730 when its owner advertised a description and offered a reward in The Craftsman [4]: 'a light colour'd Dutch DOG, with a black Muzzle'. 'Trump' named by Ireland [5] and best-known of the artist's pets, is likely to be the terracotta of lot 58 in the posthumous sale of Mrs Hogarth's property and may also be represented in Hogarth's self-portrait, 1745, in the Tate Gallery. Another pug called Crab, [6] known in the 1750s, is probably the dog painted out in NPG 289.

Footnotesback to top

1) G. Vertue, Vertue Note Books (edited by The Earl of Ilchester), Walpole Society, 1930-55, III, p 105. Perhaps he saw it unfired in the studio.
2) J. V. G. Mallet, 'Hogarth's pug in porcelain', Victoria and Albert Museum Bulletin, III, 1967, p 47.
3) Ibid.
4) R. Paulson, Hogarth: His Life, Art and Times, 1971, I, p 205.
5) S. Ireland, Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth, 1794-99, I, title page plate and page iv.
6) J. V. G. Mallet, 'Hogarth's pug in porcelain', Victoria and Albert Museum Bulletin, III, 1967, p 53, note 3.

Physical descriptionback to top

Three-quarter face, pupils incised, near-vertical scar over his right eyebrow, hair brushed behind his left ear, large loose cap with tassel just visible on top; open shirt with collar ribbon hanging down, loose coat fastened by a single button, with frogs and tassels; the base is decorated with a blank shield surmounted by the head of a satyr(?), palette and brushes beneath.

Exhibitionsback to top

'Prints and Drawings in Honour of the Bicentenary of William Hogarth (1697-1764)', British Museum, 1964-65 (no catalogue published).

Reproductionsback to top

S. Phillips, frontispiece, Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth, 1799, and again T. Cook, 1809, frontispiece to Genuine Works of Hogarth, II.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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