Frontispiece to the Catalogue.

Frontispiece to the Catalogue.
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Satire on Royal patronage of the arts. The Frontispiece is a scene in a barren, rocky terrain. The bust of the new King George III sits in a niche, with water spurting from a lion’s head mask fountain beneath. The water is being caught by Britannia in her watering can, and used to water three small trees, each inscribed Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. The stream of water is mostly being directed on the roots of Architecture with both Painting and Sculpture looking sickly and stunted. Sculpture seems to lean away from the water (it had been remarked that sculpture was too cold for the English climate), and it was Hogarth’s favourite complaint that the British failed to appreciate their own artists, preferring fake Old Masters. Paulson 236 III/III