Friday, January 24, 2014

The World of William Hogarth

William Hogarth was a talented and versatile artist of the first three-quarters of the 18th century. An engraver by trade, he aspired to be a painter in the historical genre, but is most famous for his engraved prints. He is considered the father of the serial print, notably The Harlot's Progress, The Rake's Progress, Marriage a la Mode, and  Beer Street and Gin Lane. These moralizing works portrayed in gritty detail the dangers of contemporary life and the disastrous consequences of going the wrong way. 

Many of Hogarth's paintings show a free and personal style that make me wish he had been born a hundred years later. The Shrimp Girl (1740-1745) could have easily been part of the Impressionist movement. Although the painting of The Hogarth Family Servants (c. 1750) is more traditional in style, I appreciate that these good faces have been preserved.

Dolly and Minerva get an unexpected jolt when Mother takes them to a gathering of a family they had no knowledge of. They certainly were not mentioned in Ackermann's Repository!

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