The Painter and His Pug
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More about The Painter and His Pug

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It is Portrait of a Pug. There is the pug and then a painting of Hogarth in the background.

The work is one of the most famous paintings by one of Britain’s foremost painters. The British are very very serious about their dogs. The pug is either Trump or Pugg.

Hogarth was a committed pug man and put the comical and expressive little beasts in loads of his paintings. He even had a gorgeous porcelain sculpture made of Pugg, copies made by the famous Chelsea porcelain manufactory became a must have item for arists in his day.

Hogarth was also proud of his own blunted and pugnacious face and identified with the dogs.

Taking the piss out of the up-and-coming middle classes and aristocracy was his thing and the little gargoyles show up in lots of paintings as satirical jabs at pompous characters in his paintings.

There is a neat and short documentary on Hogarth and his pugs by the BBC: Lars Tharp’s Hogarth- One Man and His Pug, from the 2014 series Secret Knowledge.



Christina Scull, The Soane Hogarths. Sir John Soane’s Museum. 2nd edition, 2007.

William Hogarth, Self-portrait, English for Art Historians. Accessed 30 June 2104.

Lars Tharp, Hogarth- - One Man and His Pug - Secret Knowledge. BBC documentary, 2014. Accessed 30 June 2014.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Painter and his Pug

The Painter and His Pug by William Hogarth.jpg

Painter and his Pug is a 1745 self-portrait created by William Hogarth. He began the portrait a decade earlier. The portrait was originally created with the intention of Hogarth wearing formal attire, but was changed to the informal attire sometime during the painting process. He also added his Pug, Trump.

In the portrait, Hogarth himself is in a painting as the pug is alongside him, making the dog "real" as opposed to the created person. The dog is indifferent to the painting, to the books and to the painting palette (which shows Hogarth's Line of Beauty). So the painting seems to be a Vanitas still life. But, as an ironic disruption, the cloth behind the dog comes out of the painting.

The painting is part of the collections of the Tate Gallery.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Painter and his Pug.