'The Shrimp Girl' is probably a relatively late work by the artist, most likely dating from the 1740s, when Hogarth experimented in his paintings with an increasingly free brush. Made as an experiment, and not strictly 'finished', it remained with Hogarth's estate after his death. His widow was said to have told visitors on showing the picture to them: 'They say he could not paint flesh. There is flesh and blood for you: - them!'
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN