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About William Hogarth

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William Hogarth Booklet


By Chris Hoogenboom

Art History Honors

Introduction


I made this booklet because I am interested in the art of William Hogarth and wanted to display and discuss it with my classmates. I included six pieces by William Hogarth, and discuss two in detail. I find Hogarth especially interesting because of his tendency to include satire in his work.

William Hogarth: A Summary


William Hogarth was born in London, England, in the fall of 1697. His father was a poor Latin school teacher, but despite the lack of money, Hogarth was relatively well educated. In his youth, Hogarth apprenticed for an engraver in London, and would often sketch scenes of London in all its chaos. While Hogarth was still young, his father was imprisoned for debt, which was likely a cause for Hogarth’s cynical view of society. By April of 1720, Hogarth was engraving on his own, and had quite a talent for it. In fact, much of his most famous art was in the form of engravings. He was first asked to paint professionally by a tapestry designer in 1727. 

Hogarth was known for his satirical and cynical work, which he often used to point out flaws in society. He was a member of the Rococo movement, and as such, his work often contained elements of ornamentation, asymmetrical values, pastel colors, and curved lines. The Rococo movement was a movement of the 18th century that encouraged fanciful curved asymmetrical forms and elaborate ornamentation. His contemporaries included Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds, and he directly influenced the works of John Collier.

-Finished in 1732

-Painting was destroyed, only engravings remain

-Painted in 1736

-Can be viewed at the Met, in New York

Four Times of the Day

A Harlot's Progress

-Issued in 1751

-Resides in London, at the  British Museum

-Issued in 1751

-Resides in London, at the  British Museum

Beer Street

Gin Lane

-Created in 1748

-Tate Gallery, Britain

-1745

-Tate Gallery, Britain

The Painter and his Pug

The Gate of Calais

Beer Street and Gin Lane are two prints that are actually meant to be viewed together, So I will discuss them together. Beer Street depicts a scene of a bunch of happy beer drinkers drinking together in the streets of London, partying and celebrating joyously. In contrast, Gin Lane depicts gin drinkers in the streets of London, beaten down, sick, and in despair. I find these two pieces extremely interesting because only together do they give the message intended by Hogarth, who was supporting the impending Gin Act, which would ban gin and other hard liquors in England. He condemns alcoholism and its evils, but seems to be in support of drinking as a happy pass time, creating something of a paradox in his work. The work appears in black and white in order to convey the seriousness of the message, in spite of the seemingly silly scenes that give the message. It contains elements of the Rococo period, with the presence of curved lines, and ornament in the form of details. This work moves me because my family has a history of alcoholism, and it was always related to hard alcohol.

My Favorite Works: Beer Street and Gin Lane

Beer Street

Gin Lane