A study of theatrical portraiture through the work of William Hogarth (1697-1764) and David Garrick (1717-1779). Both artists closely associated themselves with Shakespeare, embodying a relationship between plays, painting and performance that had been understood since Antiquity and which shaped the rules for history painting drawn up by the Académie royale in Paris in the seventeenth century.
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|Number of pages||256|
|Dimensions||290 x 245|
|Technique(s)||210 color plates|
History painting was considered the highest form of art: a picture illustrating a moment drawn from just a few lines in a revered text. Hogarth's David Garrick as Richard III (1745) transformed those ideas because, although it looked like a history painting, it was also a portrait of an actor in performance.
With it, Hogarth established the genre of theatrical portraiture, a new and distinctively British kind of history painting.
This book offers a fresh examination of theatrical portraits through close analysis of the pictures and of the texts used in performance. It also examines the central role of the theatre in British culture, while highlighting the significance of Shakespeare, Hogarth and Garrick in the European Enlightenment and the rise of Romanticism.
In this context another trio of genius features prominently: Lichtenberg, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Denis Diderot.
Familiar paintings and performances are seen in an entirely new light, while unfamiliar pictures are also introduced, including major paintings and drawings that have never been published
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