Shakespeare, Hogarth and Garrick: Plays, Painting and Performance (Hardcover)

Shakespeare, Hogarth and Garrick: Plays, Painting and Performance By Robin Simon Cover Image

Shakespeare, Hogarth and Garrick: Plays, Painting and Performance (Hardcover)


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A study of theatrical portraiture through the work of William Hogarth and David Garrick.

In 1770 Georg Christoph Lichtenberg remarked, ‘What a work could be written on Shakespeare, Hogarth, and Garrick! There is something similar in the genius of all three.’ Two-and-a-half centuries on, Robin Simon’s highly original and illuminating book takes up the challenge.

William Hogarth (1697–1764) and David Garrick (1717–79) 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.

This book offers a fresh examination of theatrical portraits through a 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.
Robin Simon FSA is editor of The British Art Journal and author of Hogarth, France and British Art: the rise of the arts in eighteenth-century Britain. He is visiting professor in the Department of English, University College London, and professorial research fellow in the history of art at Buckingham University.
Product Details ISBN: 9781913645441
ISBN-10: 1913645444
Publisher: Paul Holberton Publishing
Publication Date: June 19th, 2023
Pages: 256
Language: English
"This handsome and well-illustrated book originated as the prestigious Paul Mellon Lectures, given by Simon in London and New Haven in 2013. Consisting of nine chapters, it offers a highly suggestive guide to the ways in which the Georgian stage inflected British art."
— Literary Review

"Fascinating . . .  Provides a new understanding of the genre of theatrical painting."
— Country Life

"[Robin Simon] furthers our understanding of Garrick’s relation to Shakespeare by bringing on stage another member of the cast: the painter William Hogarth. An abundantly illustrated volume sheds light on 'the significance of Shakespeare, Hogarth and Garrick within the European Enlightenment and the rise of Romanticism.'"
— The New Criterion

"As such, it is a valuable and enjoyable contribution to theatrical and art history. . . . Though they are placed firmly within theatrical and artistic history, Simon’s three titular subjects nonetheless emerge enriched, providing a wholly convincing justification for Simon’s suggestion that theatre, as the ‘single greatest shared cultural experience’ of 18th-century Britain, is essential to understanding its art."
— Apollo

"Scholars of the theater, Shakespeare, portraiture, history painting, and the 18th century will find much in this book to advance their study. Deeply researched and astutely written, it is lavishly illustrated with 207 plates, making the work a delight for both eye and mind."
— Choice