Museums and Art

Portrait of Captain Thomas Coram, William Hogarth - Description

Portrait of Captain Thomas Coram, William Hogarth - Description

Portrait of Captain Thomas Coram - William Hogarth. 239 x 147.5 cm

As a painter, during his lifetime, Hogart was unable to obtain the recognition he was counting on. However, his paintings are worthy of attention, and today they are highly regarded as the few remaining evidence of Hogarth’s pictorial talent.

The picture is made in rich, but muffled, warm colors. It depicts an elderly gentleman sitting in an armchair with excellent dressing, which makes it clear that he had a military past. He sits with a straight back, in a beautiful red camisole with sewing and galloons, the color of which is perfectly emphasized by dark culottes, stockings and shoes with large buckles. In one hand he has a soft leather or suede glove, and in the other a large print on a thick cord. Next to them are sea maps and documents curled up in scrolls. They, as well as the seascape outside the window, clearly indicate the main occupation of the character.

Behind the captain's back is a massive column of grayish-brown stone, a dark, almost black back of the chair with large rivets and a light drapery, flowing soft, large folds. All this forms an almost monochrome background, on which light spots look especially bright - the snow-white fluffy shirt of the character and his curly gray curls.

At the feet of the captain in the left corner of the picture there is a large globe on a massive wooden stand, a diary or a ship's journal, laid with a wide, beautiful ribbon. All these are symbols of his travels and tireless thirst for knowledge.

The painting gives the impression of a ceremonial canvas, which is clearly intended for decorating the living room and inheritance. On the canvas there are all signs of parade, nevertheless, it is distinguished by liveliness of performance and excellent, masterful transfer of facial features. The captain in the portrait looks like a living person, despite the specially arranged decor and deliberately solemn, even elaborate pose.

Although Hogarth was clearly better at engravings on satirical themes, he was a good painter. He had an undoubted talent for conveying the color and texture of the material, the ability to build a solid composition. Unfortunately, his contemporaries were spoiled by brilliant painters, so Hogarth entered the history of art as a talented engraver, but not a master of painting.


Watch the video: Brave Tars and Glorious Commanders: Painting and Performance in Eighteenth-Century Britain (January 2022).