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A New Dunciad
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A New Dunciad


Paul Sandby (1731 - 1809)

Width: 23.4 cm plate mark; Height: 19.8 cm plate mark;

Label, DEPARTMENT OF PRINTS AND DRAWINGS, / THE BRITISH MUSEUM, / LONDON, W.C.1. / 28 June / 1938 / Dear Dorothy, / I find that we have / this after all, but entered, in / the particular manner of F. G. / Stevens, under the wrong year. / It is Satir
Inscription, A New DUNCIAD done with a view of (...)ey fluctuating IDEAS of TASTE / Without Preface / or Introduction / (...)

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt Library; transfer; 1990

About this work
Sandby is renowned as a topographical watercolourist and pioneer of aquatint printmaking. Less known are his satirical prints, for which he used the sketchier medium of etching. A series directed against Hogarth targets the artist’s pretentions as a theorist, as expressed in his Analysis of Beauty (1753). He is depicted here as an inanely smiling fool. A dunce’s cap alludes to Hogarth’s concept of the ‘Line of Beauty’ — the serpentine line, echoed on the surface of the palette, which he argued was a universal principle of beauty in art and nature. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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