The fact Thomas Coram (below) is a captain is reinforced by the globe, the seascape in the background etc. However, because it's a work by Hogarth there's also more subtle elements included for example the partially buttoned waistcoat which is intended to make the subject more human rather than just a powerful man.
The portrait of the poet and playwright, Tony Harrison includes a field of books with an urban landscape in the background. We don't need to know anything about Harrison to work out he had something to do with literature and probably had urban influences.
|"Captain Coram" William Hogarth (1740)|
oil on canvas 239 x 148 cms
|"Portrait of Tony Harrison" Chris Stevens (1994)|
oil on canvas 210 x 120 cms
using personal objects make a "self portrait"