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William Hogarth – Zergliederung der Schönheit, 1754

Zergliederung der Schönheit, die schwankenden Begriffe von dem Geschmack festzusetzen. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt von C. Mylius. London, Andreas Linde und Hannover, J.W. Schmidt, 1754.

First edition of the first German translation of Hogarth’s Analysis of Beauty (1753). The translator, Christlob Mylius, was a young journalist who specialised in scientific topics, and he had Hogarth’s personal help in making this translation. Mylius conceded that the language of the translation was unusual, but pointed out that this reflected the idosyncratic English of Hogarth’s original text. A second, cheaper edition of the translation, revised by Mylius’s brother-in-law G.E. Lessing, was published in Berlin and Potsdam later the same year.

‘In the history of the Analysis it has long been established that the work received considerable attention outside of England, translations having been made, at various times, into German, Italian, and French. Of these translations the most interesting and important are the German … The London-Hanover edition must have been prepared for the press either immediately after the publication of the first English edition or during those final agonizing days when Hogarth was sending his last pages to the printer, Reeves. [This edition] … Though it was neatly printed under the direction of Andreas Linde (who conducted a publishing business on Catherine Street, the Strand, from 1754 to 1758), was not a great success. It received a cordial notice by Lessing in Voss’s Berlinische privilegirte Zeitung for May 30, 1754, but the bulk was small, and the price, five dollars, high. One is not surprised, therefore, to find Mylius’ two friends, Lessing and Voss, combining to issue a new edition … Lower in price (one dollar for subscribers, and two dollars after publication)’ (Stanley E. Read, ‘Some Observations on William Hogarth’s “Analysis of Beauty”: A Bibliographical Study’, Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 3, 1942, pp. 368-9).

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