The Distressed Poet: 1740

William Hogarth

The Distressed Poet: 1740
3 0 c m
40cm
actual image size: 26cm x 22cm

Full image caption

'The Distrest Poet' (sic). This is the only known portrait of Lewis Theobald, an 'author of no ordinary talents'. Poet and scholar. Seated on the side of his bed, and defended from inclemency only by an ancient night-gown, imagination glowing with the sublime, he seems inspired and delighted with his subject. When a Nymph of the 'milky way', like a ghost, comes stalking in, and destroys his high soaring of ideas. Hogarth's satire was probably inspred by Pope's Duncaid (attacks on poor and unsuccessful hacks).

© Museum of London

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