The girl with the shrimp

William Hogarth • Painting, 1760, 63.5×52.5 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait
Style of art: Realism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1760
Size: 63.5×52.5 cm
Artwork in selections: 25 selections

Description of the artwork «The girl with the shrimp»

"The girl with the shrimp" (about 1760) is just a pictorial sketch, not very typical for filled with meticulous details of the satirical manner of William Hograth, however – perhaps the most famous and the best of his paintings. It's like the inexplicable and brilliant breakthrough, at least, in the century ahead, to the art of the Impressionists with their dynamic strokes, effect of decomposition of the color and passion to the immediate impression.

Common place in hogarthian began to talk about the realism and the democracy of the artist. First and foremost, it is, of course, talking about his satirical cycles: "Career prostitutes", Rake's progress, "Fashionable marriage","The parliamentary elections", "Four degrees of cruelty" - they not only depict people of various, including the lower, classes of modern English society, but argue about morality and ethics. But perhaps to a greater extent humanism Hogarth pronounced in cases where he ceases to be a satirist in his later portraits. Among them it is worth to highlight "Portrait of Hogarth's servants" and "the Saleswoman shrimp". This work, the aged artist, sophisticated and imbued with sympathy for the "little man".

"The saleswoman shrimp" is written as if the brush swiftly snatches her out of the crowded flow of people on a clear Sunny day. A young street vendor, having set up a tray of sea food on top of the hat, turned half around and smiling like she saw something funny or someone familiar. The image of "the Saleswoman shrimp" full of charm. With a lively sympathy Hogarth shows us the essence of the person without makeup and pretense, without the imposed social roles.

Known primarily as a printmaker, famous for the masterly art of thin lines, but not colors, "the Saleswoman shrimp" Hogarth appears as an outstanding colorist. His palette is dominated by cool colors – brown, green-gray and pink. The brush strokes of Hogarth, the broad and rapid, on the one hand, suggest that this is a underpainting – preliminary location of color patches on the canvas for the picture, which could be written in a more traditional technique (and perhaps, in its final form would have lost the lion's share of its charm). On the other hand, "the Saleswoman shrimp" can be considered as a bold color innovation Hogarth: here he, like the artists of the future, gives subtle color transitions, but on the contrary, boldly and directly puts dabs of different colors next to each other. This is a full-effect decomposition of complex flavor to simple ingredients that we appreciate the art of impressionism. The image seemed born here, arises from nothing in the eyes of the astonished audience.

With passion polemicist Hogarth was criticized by contemporaries for "image of dead nature", for the passion to blind imitation of the artists of the past. The liveliness and briskness of his "Saleswoman shrimp", her bright blush and parted moist lips, rapid and light stroke is a real challenge Hogarth static art of his era.

Author: Anna Yesterday