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William Hogarth

William Hogarth, self-portrait, 1745
Born 10 November 1697(1697-11-10)
London, England
Died 26 October 1764 (aged 66)
London, England
Resting place St. Nicholas's Churchyard, Chiswick Mall, Chiswick, London
Occupation Painter, engraver, satirist
Spouse(s) Jane Thornhill

William Hogarth (10 November 1697 – 26 October 1764) was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects". Much of his work poked fun at contemporary politics and customs; illustrations in such style are often referred to as "Hogarthian".

Contents

Early life

William and Jane Hogarth's tomb

William Hogarth was born at Bartholomew Close in London to Richard Hogarth, a poor Latin school teacher and textbook writer, and Anne Gibbons. In his youth he was apprenticed to the engraver Ellis Gamble in Leicester Fields, where he learned to engrave trade cards and similar products. Young Hogarth also took a lively interest in the street life of the metropolis and the London fairs, and amused himself by sketching the characters he saw. Around the same time, his father, who had opened an unsuccessful Latin-speaking coffee house at St John's Gate, was imprisoned for debt in Fleet Prison for five years. Hogarth never spoke of his father's imprisonment.[citation needed]

He became a member of the Rose and Crown Club, with Peter Tillemans, George Vertue, Michael Dahl, and other artists and connoisseurs.[1]

Career

By April 1720 Hogarth was an engraver in his own right, at first engraving coats of arms, shop bills, and designing plates for booksellers.

In 1727, he was hired by Joshua Morris, a tapestry worker, to prepare a design for the Element of Earth. Morris, however, heard that he was "an engraver, and no painter", and consequently declined the work when completed. Hogarth accordingly sued him for the money in the Westminster Court, where the case was decided in his favour on 28 May 1728. In 1757 he was appointed Serjeant Painter to the King.

Early works

Early satirical works included an Emblematical Print on the South Sea Scheme (c.1721), about the disastrous stock market crash of 1720 known as the South Sea Bubble, in which many English people lost a great deal of money. In the bottom left corner, he shows Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish figures gambling, while in the middle there is a huge machine, like a merry-go-round, which people are boarding. At the top is a goat, written below which is "Who'l Ride" and this shows the stupidity of people in following the crowd in buying stock in The South Sea Company, which spent more time issuing stock than anything else. The people are scattered around the picture with a real sense of disorder, which represented the confusion. The progress of the well dressed people towards the ride in the middle shows how foolish some people could be, which is not entirely their own fault.

Other early works include The Lottery (1724); The Mystery of Masonry brought to Light by the Gormogons (1724); A Just View of the British Stage (1724); some book illustrations; and the small print, Masquerades and Operas (1724). The latter is a satire on contemporary follies, such as the masquerades of the Swiss impresario John James Heidegger, the popular Italian opera singers, John Rich's pantomimes at Lincoln's Inn Fields, and the exaggerated popularity of Lord Burlington's protégé, the architect and painter William Kent. He continued that theme in 1727, with the Large Masquerade Ticket. In 1726 Hogarth prepared twelve large engravings for Samuel Butler's Hudibras. These he himself valued highly, and are among his best book illustrations.

In the following years he turned his attention to the production of small "conversation pieces" (i.e., groups in oil of full-length portraits from 12 to 15 in. high). Among his efforts in oil between 1728 and 1732 were The Fountaine Family (c.1730), The Assembly at Wanstead House, The House of Commons examining Bambridge, and several pictures of the chief actors in John Gay's popular The Beggar's Opera.

One of his masterpieces of this period is the depiction of an amateur performance of John Dryden's The Indian Emperor, or The Conquest of Mexico (1732–1735) at the home of John Conduitt, master of the mint, in St George's Street, Hanover Square.

Hogarth's other works in the 1730s include A Midnight Modern Conversation (1733), Southwark Fair (1733), The Sleeping Congregation (1736), Before and After (1736), Scholars at a Lecture (1736), The Company of Undertakers (Consultation of Quacks) (1736), The Distrest Poet (1736), The Four Times of the Day (1738), and Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn (1738). He may also have printed Burlington Gate (1731), evoked by Alexander Pope's Epistle to Lord Burlington, and defending Lord Chandos, who is therein satirized. This print gave great offence, and was suppressed (some modern authorities, however, no longer attribute this to Hogarth).

Moralizing art

Harlot's and Rake's Progresses

A Rake's Progress, Plate 8, 1735, and retouched by Hogarth in 1763 by adding the Britannia emblem[2][3]

In 1731, he completed the earliest of the series of moral works which first gave him recognition as a great and original genius. This was A Harlot's Progress, first as paintings, (now lost), and then published as engravings. In its six scenes, the miserable fate of a country girl who began a prostitution career in town is traced out remorselessly from its starting point, the meeting of a bawd, to its shameful and degraded end, the whore's death of venereal disease and the following merciless funeral ceremony. The series was an immediate success, and was followed in 1735 by the sequel A Rake's Progress showing in eight pictures the reckless life of Tom Rakewell, the son of a rich merchant, who wastes all his money on luxurious living, whoring, and gambling, and ultimately finishes his life in Bedlam. The original paintings of A Harlot's Progress were destroyed in the fire at Fonthill Abbey in 1755; A Rake's Progress is displayed in the gallery room at Sir John Soane's Museum, London.

Marriage à-la-mode

In 1743–1745 Hogarth painted the six pictures of Marriage à-la-mode (National Gallery, London), a pointed skewering of upper class 18th century society. This moralistic warning shows the miserable tragedy of an ill-considered marriage for money. This is regarded by many as his finest project, certainly the best piece of his serially-planned story cycles.

Marital ethics were the topic of much debate in 18th century Britain. Frequent marriages of convenience and their attendant unhappiness came in for particular criticism, with a variety of authors taking the view that love was a much sounder basis for marriage. Hogarth here painted a satire – a genre that by definition has a moral point to convey – of a conventional marriage within the English upper class. All the paintings were engraved and the series achieved wide circulation in print form. The series, which are set in a Classical interior, shows the story of the fashionable marriage of the son of bankrupt Earl Squanderfield to the daughter of a wealthy but miserly city merchant, starting with the signing of a marriage contract at the Earl's mansion and ending with the murder of the son by his wife's lover and the suicide of the daughter after her lover is hanged at Tyburn for murdering her husband.

This famous set of pictures contains the most important and highly wrought of the Hogarth comedies. The care and method with which the moral grounds of these pictures are laid is as remarkable as the wit and skill of the observing and dexterous artist. He has to describe the negotiations for a marriage pending between the daughter of a rich citizen Alderman and young Lord Viscount Squanderfield, the dissipated son of a gouty old Earl. Pride and pomposity appear in every accessory surrounding the Earl/ He sits in gold lace and velvet - as how should an Earl wear anything but velvet and gold lace& His coronet is everywhere: off his footstool on which reposes one gouty toe turned out; on the sconces and looking-glass; on the dogs, on his lordship's very crutches; on his great chair of state and the great baldaquin behind him; under which he sits pointing majestically to his pedigree, which shows that his race is sprung from the loins of William the Conqueror, and confronting the old Alderman from the City, who has mounted his sword for the occasion, and wears his Alderman's chain, and has brought a bag full of money, mortgage-deeds, and thousand pound notes, for the arrangement of the transaction pending between them. The sense of the coronet pervades the picture, as it is supposed to do the mind of its wearer.

While the steward is negotiating between the old couple, their children are together, united but apart. My lord is admiring his countenance in the glass, while the bride is twiddling her marriage ring on her pocket handkerchief and listening with rueful countenance to Counsellor Silvertongue. The girl is pretty, but the painter with a curious watchfulness, has taken care to give her a likeness o her father, as in the young Viscount's face you see a resemblance to the Earl, his noble sire. A martyr is led to the fire. Andromeda is offered to sacrifice; Judith is going to slay Holofernes. There is the ancestor of the house, with a comet over his head, indicating that the career of the family is to be brilliant and brief.

In the second picture, Madam has now the COuntess's coronet over her bed and toilet-glass, and sits listening to that dangerous Counsellor Silvertongue, whose portrait now actually hangs up in her room, while the counsellor takes his ease on the sofa by her side, evidently the familiar of the house, and the confidant of the mistress. My lord takes his pleasure elsewhere than at home, whither he returns jaded and tipsy to find his wife yawning in her drawing-room, her whist-party over, and the daylight streaming in; or he amuses himself with the very worst company abroad, while his wife sits at home listening to foreign singers, or wastes her money at auctions, or, worse still, seeks amusement at masquerades.

The dismal end is known. My lord draws upon the counselor, who kills him, and is apprehended while endeavouring to escape. My lady goes back perforce to the Alderman of the City, and faints upon reading Counsellor Silvertongue’s dying speech at Tyburn (place of execution in old London), where the counselor has been executed for sending his lordship out of the world. Moral: don’t listen to evil silver-tongued counselors; don’t marry a man for his rank, or a woman for her money; don’t frequent foolish auctions and masquerade balls unknown to your husband; don’t have wicked companions abroad and neglect your wife, otherwise you will be run through the body, and ruin will ensue, and disgrace, and Tyburn.

(from William Makepeace Thackeray, The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century)

Industry and Idleness

In the twelve prints of Industry and Idleness (1747) Hogarth shows the progression in the lives of two apprentices, one who is dedicated and hard working, the other idle which leads to crime and his execution. This shows the work ethic of Protestant England, where those who work hard get rewarded, such as the industrious apprentice who becomes Sheriff (plate 8), Alderman (plate 10), and finally the Lord Mayor of London in the last plate in the series. The idle apprentice, who begins with being "at play in the church yard" (plate 3), holes up "in a Garrett with a Common Prostitute" after turning highwayman (plate 7) and "executed at Tyburn" (plate 11). The idle apprentice is sent to the gallows by the industrious apprentice himself.

Beer Street and Gin Lane

Later important prints include his pictorial warning of the unpleasant consequences of alcoholism in Beer Street and Gin Lane (1751) Hogarth engraved Beer Street to show a happy city drinking the 'good' beverage of English beer, versus Gin Lane which showed the effects of drinking gin which, as a harder liquor, caused more problems for society. People are shown as healthy, happy and prosperous in Beer Street, while in Gin Lane they are scrawny, lazy and careless. The woman at the front of Gin Lane who lets her baby fall to its death, echoes the tale of Judith Dufour who strangled her baby so she could sell its clothes for gin money. The prints were published in support of what would become the Gin Act 1751.

Hogarth's friend, the magistrate Henry Fielding, may have enlisted Hogarth to help with propaganda for a Gin Act: Beer Street and Gin Lane were issued shortly after his work An Enquiry into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers, and Related Writings and addressed the same issues.

The Four Stages of Cruelty

Other prints were his outcry against inhumanity in The Four Stages of Cruelty (1751); a series which Hogarth intended to show some of the terrible habits of criminals. In the first picture there are scenes of torture of dogs, cats and other animals. In the second it shows one of the characters from the first painting, Tom Nero, has now become a coach driver, and his cruelty to his horse caused it to break its leg. In the third painting Tom is shown as a murderer, with the woman he killed lying on the ground, while in the fourth, titled Reward of Cruelty, the murderer is shown being dissected by scientists after his execution. Hogarth is thus using the series to say what will happen to people who carry on in this manner. This shows what crimes people were concerned with in this time, the method of execution, and the dissection reflects upon the 1752 Act of Parliament which had just being passed allowing for the dissection of executed criminals who had been convicted for murder. It shows his reaction against the cruel treatment of animals which he saw around him, that he wished could be stopped.

Portraits

William Hogarth's engraving of Lord Lovat prior to his execution
Hogarth's portrait of "The Shrimp Girl" 1740-1745
Hogarth's portrait of Captain Thomas Coram, 1740

Hogarth was also a popular portrait painter. In 1746 he painted actor David Garrick as Richard III, for which he was paid £200, “which was more,” he wrote, “than any English artist ever received for a single portrait.” In the same year a sketch of Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, afterwards beheaded on Tower Hill, had an exceptional success. Hogarth's truthful, vivid full-length portrait of his friend, the philanthropic Captain Coram (1740; formerly Thomas Coram Foundation for Children, now Foundling Museum), and his unfinished oil sketch of The Shrimp Girl (National Gallery, London) may be called masterpieces of British painting.

Historical subjects

During a long period of his life, Hogarth tried to achieve the status of history painter, but had no great success in this field.

Biblical scenes

Examples of his history pictures are The Pool of Bethesda and The Good Samaritan, executed in 1736–1737 for St Bartholomew's Hospital; Moses brought before Pharaoh's Daughter, painted for the Foundling Hospital (1747, formerly at the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children, now in the Foundling Museum); Paul before Felix (1748) at Lincoln's Inn; and his altarpiece for St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol (1756).

The Gate of Calais

The Gate of Calais (1748; now in Tate Britain) was produced soon after his return from a visit to France. Horace Walpole wrote that Hogarth had run a great risk to go there since the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle,

he went to France, and was so imprudent as to be taking a sketch of the drawbridge at Calais. He was seized and carried to the governor, where he was forced to prove his vocation by producing several caricatures of the French; particularly a scene of the shore, with an immense piece of beef landing for the lion d'argent, the English inn at Calais, and several hungry friars following it. They were much diverted with his drawings, and dismissed him.

Back home, he immediately executed a painting of the subject in which he unkindly represented his enemies, the Frenchmen, as cringing, emaciated and superstitious people, while an enormous sirloin of beef arrives, destined for the English inn as a symbol of British prosperity and superiority. He claimed to have painted himself into the picture in the left corner sketching the gate, with a "soldier's hand upon my shoulder", running him in.[4]

Other later works

March of the Guards to Finchley (1750), a satirical depiction of troops mustered to defend London from the 1745 Jacobite rebellion.

Notable Hogarth engravings in the 1740s includeThe Enraged Musician (1741), the six prints of Marriage à-la-mode (1745; executed by French artists under Hogarth's inspection), and The Stage Coach or The Country Inn Yard (1747).

In 1745 Hogarth painted a self-portrait with his pug dog (now also in Tate Britain), which shows him as a learned artist supported by volumes of Shakespeare, Milton and Swift. In 1749, he represented the somewhat disorderly English troops on their March of the Guards to Finchley (formerly located in Thomas Coram Foundation for Children, now Foundling Museum).

Others were his ingenious Satire on False Perspective (1753); his satire on canvassing in his Election series (1755–1758; now in Sir John Soane's Museum); his ridicule of the English passion for cockfighting in The Cockpit (1759); his attack on Methodism in Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism (1762); his political anti-war satire in The Times, plate I (1762); and his pessimistic view of all things in Tailpiece, or The Bathos (1764).

Writing

Hogarth also wrote and published his ideas of artistic design in his book The Analysis of Beauty (1753).[5] In it, he professes to define the principles of beauty and grace which he, a real child of Rococo, saw realized in serpentine lines (the Line of Beauty).

Analysis

Painter and engraver of modern moral subjects

Hogarth lived in an age when artwork became increasingly commercialized and viewed in shop windows, taverns and public buildings and sold in printshops. Old hierarchies broke down, and new forms began to flourish: the ballad opera, the bourgeois tragedy, and especially, a new form of fiction called the novel with which authors such as Henry Fielding had great success. Therefore, by that time, Hogarth hit on a new idea: "painting and engraving modern moral subjects ... to treat my subjects as a dramatic writer; my picture was my stage", as he himself remarked in his manuscript notes.

He drew from the highly moralizing Protestant tradition of Dutch genre painting, and the very vigorous satirical traditions of the English broadsheet and other types of popular print. In England the fine arts had little comedy in them before Hogarth. His prints were expensive, and remained so until early nineteenth-century reprints brought them to a wider audience.

Parodic borrowings from the Old Masters

When analysing the work of the artist as a whole, Ronald Paulson says, "In A Harlot's Progress, every single plate but one is based on Dürer's images of the story of the Virgin and the story of the Passion." In other works, he parodies Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. According to Paulson, Hogarth is subverting the religious establishment and the orthodox belief in an immanent God who intervenes in the lives of people and produces miracles. Indeed, Hogarth was a Deist, a believer in a God who created the universe but takes no direct hand in the lives of his creations. Thus, as a "comic history painter", he often poked fun at the old-fashioned, "beaten" subjects of religious art in his paintings and prints. Hogarth also rejected Lord Shaftesbury's then current ideal of the classical Greek male in favour of the living, breathing female. He said, "Who but a bigot, even to the antiques, will say that he has not seen faces and necks, hands and arms in living women, that even the Grecian Venus doth but coarsely imitate."

Personal life

On 23 March 1729 Hogarth married Jane Thornhill, daughter of artist Sir James Thornhill.

Hogarth was initiated as a Freemason some time before 1728 in the Lodge at the Hand and Apple Tree Tavern, Little Queen Street, and later belonged to the Carrier Stone Lodge and the Grand Stewards' Lodge; the latter still possesses the 'Hogarth Jewel' which Hogarth designed for the Lodge's Master to wear.[6] Today the original is in storage and a replica is worn by the Master of the Lodge. Freemasonry was a theme in some of Hogarth's work, most notably 'Night', the fourth in the quartet of paintings (later released as engravings) collectively entitled the Four Times of the Day.

Hogarth died in London on 26 October 1764 and was buried at St. Nicholas's Churchyard, Chiswick Mall, Chiswick, London. His friend, actor David Garrick, composed the following inscription for his tombstone:

Farewell great Painter of Mankind
Who reach'd the noblest point of Art
Whose pictur'd Morals charm the Mind
And through the Eye correct the Heart.
If Genius fire thee, Reader, stay,
If Nature touch thee, drop a Tear:
If neither move thee, turn away,
For Hogarth's honour'd dust lies here.

Influence and reputation

Hogarth's work were a direct influence on John Collier, who was known as the "Lancashire Hogarth".[7]

Hogarth's paintings and prints have provided the subject matter for several other works. For example, Igor Stravinsky's opera The Rake's Progress, with libretto by W. H. Auden, was inspired by Hogarth's series of paintings of that title. Russell Banks' short story "Indisposed" is a fictional account of Hogarth's infidelity as told from the viewpoint of his wife, Jane. Hogarth's engravings also inspired the BBC radio play "The Midnight House" by Jonathan Hall, based on the M.R. James ghost story "The Mezzotint" and first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2006.

Hogarth's House in Chiswick, West London, is now a museum; it abuts one of London's best known road junctions – the Hogarth Roundabout.

Gallery

inside view of room with square columns either side and actors rehearsing a scene with table, chairs, suspended nooses, small figures, toilets, broken masonry and sundry items together with dialogue text on ribbons
An early print by William Hogarth entitled A Just View of the British Stage from 1724.  
white bust of Hogarth facing left on pinkish granite plinth
Bust of Hogarth, Leicester Square, London.  
inside view of high-vaulted room with several male and female figures standing, sitting and kneeling
The Beggar's Opera VI, 1731, Tate Britain's version (22.5 x 30 ins.)  
open space with crowd of people on horseback, in wagons, standing, sitting, on crutches, fallen; a skeleton hangs on each side outside the frame
Industry and Idleness, plate 11, The Idle 'Prentice executed at Tyburn  
view looking out from under an arch at another arch with raised portcullis; several figures, two armed, are active in the midground, other hiddled figures appear at either side of the foreground
The Gate of Calais (also known as, O the Roast Beef of Old England), 1749  
seated man painting a female figure on a dark canvas on an easel
Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse. A self-portrait depicting Hogarth painting Thalia, the muse of comedy and pastoral poetry, 1757–1758  
four seated figures, three with white wigs, the foiurth with a dark wig
The Bench, 1758  
six figures face forwards
Hogarth's Servants, mid-1750s.  
inside view of room with figures seated at and standing around several tables; two are throwing chairs outwith an open window while a brick is thrown in
Hogarth's satirical engraving of the radical politician John Wilkes.  
An Election Entertainment featuring the anti-Gregorian calendar banner "Give us our Eleven Days", 1755.  

Notes

  1. ^ Coombs, Katherine, 'Lens [Laus] family (per. c. 1650–1779), artists' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004)
  2. ^ J. B. Nichols, 1833 p.192 "PLATE VIII. ... Britannia 1763"
  3. ^ J. B. Nichols, 1833 p.193 "Retouched by the Author, 1763"
  4. ^ J. B. Nichols, 1833 p.63 "in one corner introduced my own portrait"
  5. ^ Hogarth,William ; The Analysis of Beauty 1753: Yale University Press USA ISBN 978-0300073461
  6. ^ See references in this biography.
  7. ^ Hignett, Tim (1991). Milnrow & Newhey: A Lancashire Legacy. Littleborough: George Kelsall Publishing. p. 39. ISBN 0-946571-19-8. 

Bibliography

  • Hogarth, William (1833). Nichols, J. B.. ed. Anecdotes of William Hogarth, Written by Himself. London: J. B. Nichols and Son, 25 Parliament Street. http://books.google.com/books?id=nwgIAAAAMAAJ&dq=%22William+Hogarth%22&as_brr=1&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  • Fort, Bernadette, and Angela Rosenthal, The Other Hogarth: Aesthetics of Difference. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2003.
  • Peter Quennell, Hogarth's Progress (London, New York 1955)
  • Frederick Antal, Hogarth and His Place in European Art (London 1962)
  • David Bindman, Hogarth (London 1981)
  • Ronald Paulson, Hogarth's Graphic Works (3rd edn, London 1989)
  • Ronald Paulson, Hogarth, 3 vols. (New Brunswick 1991-93)
  • Jenny Uglow, Hogarth: A Life and a World (London 1997)
  • Frédéric Ogée and Peter Wagner, eds., William Hogarth: Theater and the Theater of Life (Los Angeles, 1997)
  • Sean Shesgreen, Hogarth 101 Prints. New York: Dover, 1973.
  • Sean Shesgreen, Hogarth and the Times-of-the-Day Tradition. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1983
  • Hans-Peter Wagner, William Hogarth: Das graphische Werk (Saarbrücken, 1998)
  • David Bindman, Frédéric Ogée and Peter Wagner, eds. Hogarth: Representing Nature's Machines (Manchester, 2001)
  • Christine Riding and Mark Hallet, "Hogarth" (Tate Publishing, London, 2006)
  • Robin Simon, Hogarth, France and British Art: The rise of the arts in eighteenth-century Britain (London, 2007)

See also

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

William Hogarth (1697-11-101764-10-26) was a major English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, and editorial cartoonist who has been credited as a pioneer in western sequential art. His work ranged from excellent realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects." Much of his work, though at times vicious, poked fun at contemporary politics and customs.

About William Hogarth

  • They said he could not paint flesh. There's flesh and blood for you.
    • Attributed to his widow when showing the painting The Shrimp Girl to visitors
  • I turned my thoughts to a still more novel mode..to compose pictures on canvas similar to representations on the stage...my picture is my stage,and men and women my players exhibited in a 'dumb' show.

External links

Wikipedia
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

WILLIAM HOGARTH (1697-1764), the great English painter and pictorial satirist, was born at Bartholomew Close in London on the 10th of November 1697, and baptized on the 28th in the church of St Bartholomew the Great. He had two younger sisters, Mary, born in 1699, and Ann, born in 1701. His father, Richard Hogarth, who died in 1718, was a schoolmaster and literary hack, who had come to the metropolis to seek that fortune which had been denied to him in his native Westmorland. The son seems to have been early distinguished by a talent for drawing and an active perceptive faculty rather than by any close attention to the learning which he was soon shrewd enough to see had not made his parent prosper. "Shows of all sorts gave me uncommon pleasure when an infant," he says, "and mimicry, common to all children, was remarkable in me.. .. My exercises when at school were more remarkable for the ornaments which adorned them than for the exercise itself." This being the case, it is no wonder that, by his own desire, he was apprenticed to a silver-plate engraver, Mr Ellis Gamble, at the sign of the "Golden Angel" in Cranbourne Street or Alley, Leicester Fields. For this master he engraved a shopcard which is still extant. When his apprenticeship began is not recorded; but it must have been concluded before the beginning of 1720, for in April of that year he appears to have set up as engraver on his own account. His desires, however, were not limited to silver-plate engraving. "Engraving on copper was, at twenty years of age, my utmost ambition." For this he lacked the needful skill as a draughtsman; and his account of the means which he took to supply this want, without too much interfering with his pleasure, is thoroughly characteristic, though it can scarcely be recommended as an example. "Laying it down," he says,"first as an axiom, that he who could by any means acquire and retain in his memory, perfect ideas of the subjects he meant to draw, would have as clear a knowledge of the figure as a man who can write freely hath of the twenty-four letters of the alphabet and their infinite combinations (each of these being composed of lines), and would consequently be an accurate designer,. .. I therefore endeavoured to habituate myself to the exercise of a sort of technical memory, and by repeating in my own mind, the parts of which objects were composed, I could by degrees combine and put them down with my pencil." This account, it is possible, has something of the complacency of the old age in which it was written; but there is little doubt that his marvellous power of seizing expression owed less to patient academical study than to his unexampled eye-memory and tenacity of minor detail. But he was not entirely without technical training,. since, by his own showing, he occasionally "took the life" to correct his memories, and is known to have studied at Sir James Thornhill's then recently opened art school.

"His first employment" (i.e. after he set up for himself) "seems," says John Nichols, in his Anecdotes, " to have been the engraving of arms and shop bills." After this he was employed in designing "plates for booksellers." Of these early and mostly insignificant works we may pass over "The Lottery, an Emblematic Print on the South Sea Scheme," and some book illustrations, to pause at "Masquerades and Operas" (1724), the first plate he published on his own account. This is a clever little satire on contemporary follies, such as the masquerades of the Swiss adventurer Heidegger, the popular Italiar opera-singers, Rich's pantomimes at Lincoln's Inn Fields, and last, but by no means least, the exaggerated popularity of Lord Burlington's protege, the architect painter William Kent, who is here represented on the summit of Burlington Gate, with Raphael and Michelangelo for supporters. This worthy, Hogarth had doubtless not learned to despise less in the school of his rival Sir James Thornhill. Indeed almost the next of Hogarth's important prints was aimed at Kent alone, being that memorable burlesque of the unfortunate altarpiece designed by the latter for St Clement Danes, which, in deference to the ridicule of the parishioners, Bishop Gibson took down in 1725. Hogarth's squib, which appeared subsequently, exhibits it as a very masterpiece of confusion and bad drawing. In 1726 he prepared twelve large engravings for Butler's Hudibras. These he himself valued highly, and they are the best of his book illustrations. But he was far too individual to be the patient interpreter of other men's thoughts, and it is not in this direction that his successes are to be sought.

To1727-1728belongs one of those rare occurrences which have survived as contributions to his biography. He was engaged by Joshua Morris, a tapestry worker, to prepare a design for the "Element of Earth." Morris, however, having heard that he was "an engraver, and no painter," declined the work when completed, and Hogarth accordingly sued him for the money in the Westminster Court, where, on the 28th of May 1728, the case was decided in his (Hogarth's) favour. It may have been the aspersion thus early cast on his skill as a painter (coupled perhaps with the unsatisfactory state of printselling, owing to the uncontrolled circulation of piratical copies) that induced him about this time to turn his attention to the production of "small conversation pieces" (i.e. groups in oil of full-length portraits from 12 to 15 in. high), many of which are still preserved in different collections. "This," he says, "having novelty, succeeded for a few years." Among his other efforts in oil between 1728 and 1732 were "The Wanstead Conversation," "The House of Commons examining Bambridge," an infamous warden of the Fleet, and several pictures of the chief actors in Gay's popular Beggar's Opera. On the 23rd of March 1729 he was married at old Paddington church to Jane Thornhill, the only daughter of Kent's rival above mentioned. The match was a clandestine one, although Lady Thornhill appears to have favoured it. We next hear of him in "lodgings at South Lambeth," where he rendered some assistance to the then well-known Jonathan Tyers, who opened Vauxhall in 1732 with an entertainment styled a ridotto al fresco. For these gardens Hogarth painted a poor picture of Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn, and he also permitted Hayman to make copies of the later series of the "Four Times of the Day." In return, the grateful Tyers presented him with a gold pass ticket "In perpetuam Beneficii Memoriam." It was long thought that Hogarth designed this himself. Mr Warwick Wroth (Numismatic Chronicle, vol. xviii.) doubts this, although he thinks it probable that Hogarth designed some of the silver Vauxhall passes which are figured in Wilkinson's Londina illustrata. The only engravings between 1726 and 1732 which need be referred to are the "Large Masquerade Ticket" (1727), another satire on masquerades, and the print of "Burlington Gate" (1731), evoked by Pope's Epistle to Lord Burlington, and defending Lord Chandos, who is therein satirized. This print gave great offence, and was, it is said, suppressed.

By 1731 Hogarth must have completed the earliest of the series of moral works which first gave him his position as a great and original genius. This was "A Harlot's Progress," the paintings for which, if we may trust the date in the last of the pictures, were finished in that year. Almost immediately afterwards he must have begun to engrave them - a task he had at first intended to leave to others. From an advertisement in the Country Journal; or, the Craftsman, 29th of January 1732, the pictures were then being engraved, and from later announcements it seems clear that they were delivered to the subscribers early in the following April, on the 21st of which month an unauthorized prose description of them was published. We have no record of the particular train of thought which prompted these story-pictures; but it may perhaps be fairly assumed that the necessity for creating some link of interest between the personages of the little "conversation pieces" above referred to, led to the further idea of connecting several groups or scenes so as to form a sequent narrative. "I wished," says Hogarth, "to compose pictures on canvas, similar to representations on the stage." "I have endeavoured," he says again, "to treat my subject as a dramatic writer; my picture is my stage, and men and women my players, who by means of certain actions and gestures are to exhibit a dumb show." There was never a more eloquent dumb show than this of the "Harlot's Progress." In six scenes the miserable career of a woman of the town is traced out remorselessly from its first facile beginning to its shameful and degraded end. Nothing of the detail is softened or abated; the whole is acted out coram populo, with the hard, uncompassionate morality of the age the painter lived in, while the introduction here and there of one or two well-known characters such as Colonel Charteris and Justice Gonson give a vivid reality to the satire. It had an immediate success. To say nothing of the fact that the talent of the paintings completely reconciled Sir James Thornhill to the son-in-law he had hitherto refused to acknowledge, more than twelve hundred names of subscribers to the engravings were entered in the artist's book. On the appearance of plate iii. the lords of the treasury trooped to the print shop for Sir John Gonson's portrait which it contained. The story was made into a pantomime by Theophilus Cibber, and by some one else into a ballad opera; and it gave rise to numerous pamphlets and poems. It was painted on fan-mounts and transferred to cups and saucers. Lastly, it was freely pirated. There could be no surer testimony to its popularity.

From the MSS. of George Vertue in the British Museum (Add. MSS. 23069-98) it seems that during the progress of the plates, Hogarth was domiciled with his father-in-law, Sir James Thornhill, in the Middle Piazza, Covent Garden (the "second house eastward from James Street"), and it must have been thence that set out the historical expedition from London to Sheerness of which the original record still exists at the British Museum. This is an oblong MS. volume entitled An Account of what seem'd most Remarkable in the Five Days' Peregrination of the Five Following Persons, via., Messieurs Tothall, Scott, Hogarth, Thornhill and Forrest. Begun on Saturday May 27th 1732 and Finish'd On the 31st of the Same Month. A bi to et fac similiter. Inscription on Dulwich College Porch. The journal, which is written by Ebenezer, the father of Garrick's friend Theodosius Forrest, gives a good idea of what a "frisk" - as Johnson called it - was in those days, while the illustrations were by Hogarth and Samuel Scott the landscape painter.

John Thornhill, Sir James's son, made the map. This version (in prose) was subsequently run into rhyme by one of Hogarth's friends, the Rev. Wm. Gostling of Canterbury, and after the artist's death both versions were published. In the absence of other biographical detail, they are of considerable interest to the student of Hogarth. In 1733 Hogarth moved into the "Golden Head" in Leicester Fields, which, with occasional absences at Chiswick, he continued to occupy until his death. By December of this year he was already engaged upon the engravings of a second Progress, that of a Rake. It was not as successful as its predecessor. It was in eight plates in lieu of six. The story is unequal; but there is nothing finer than the figure of the desperate hero in the Covent Garden gaming-house, or the admirable scenes in the Fleet prison and Bedlam, where at last his headlong career comes to its tragic termination. The plates abound with allusive suggestion and covert humour; but it is impossible to attempt any detailed description of them here.

"A Rake's Progress" was dated June 25, 1735, and the engravings bear the words "according to Act of Parliament." This was an act (8 Geo. II. cap. 13) which Hogarth had been instrumental in obtaining from the legislature, being stirred thereto by the shameless piracies of rival printsellers. Although loosely drawn, it served its purpose; and the painter commemorated his success by a long inscription on the plate entitled "Crowns, Mitres, &c.," afterwards used as a subscription ticket to the Election series. These subscription tickets to his engravings, let us add, are among the brightest and most vivacious of the artist's productions. That to the "Harlot's Progress" was entitled "Boys peeping at Nature," while the Rake's Progress was heralded by the delightful etching known as "A Pleased Audience at a Play, or The Laughing Audience." We must pass more briefly over the prints which followed the two Progresses, noting first "A Modern Midnight Conversation," an admirable drinking scene which comes between them in 1733, and the bright little plate of "Southwark Fair," which, although dated 1733, was published with "A Rake's Progress" in 1735. Between these and "Marriage a la mode," upon the pictures of which the painter must have been not long after at work, come the small prints of the "Consultation of Physicians" and "Sleeping Congregation" (1736), the "Scholars at a Lecture" (1737); the "Four Times of the Day" (1738), a series of pictures of 18th century life, the earlier designs for which have been already referred to; the "Strolling Actresses dressing in a Barn" (1738), which Walpole held to be, "for wit and imagination, without any other end, the best of all the painter's works"; and finally the admirable plates of the Distrest Poet painfully composing a poem on "Riches" in a garret, and the Enraged Musician fulminating from his parlour window upon a discordant orchestra of knife-grinders, milk-girls, ballad-singers and the rest upon the pavement outside. These are dated respectively 1736 and 1741. To this period also (i.e. the period preceding the production of the plates of "Marriage a la mode") belong two of those history pictures to which, in emulation of the Haymans and Thornhills, the artist was continually attracted. "The Pool of Bethesda" and the "Good Samaritan," "with figures seven feet high," were painted circa 1736, and presented by the artist to St Bartholomew's Hospital. where they remain. They were not masterpieces; and it is pleasanter to think of his connexion with Captain Coram's recently established Foundling Hospital (1739), which he aided with his money, his graver and his brush, and for which he painted that admirable portrait of the good old philanthropist which is still, and deservedly, one of its chief ornaments.

In "A Harlot's Progress" Hogarth had not strayed much beyond the lower walks of society, and although, in "A Rake's Progress," his hero was taken from the middle classes, he can scarcely be said to have quitted those fields of observation which are common to every spectator. It is therefore more remarkable, looking to his education and antecedents, that his masterpiece, "Marriage el la mode," should successfully depict, as the advertisement has it, "a variety of modern occurrences in high life." Yet, as an accurate delineation of upper class 18th century society, his "Marriage a la mode" has never, we believe, been seriously assailed. The countess's bedroom, the earl's apartment with its lavish coronets and old masters, the grand saloon with its marble pillars and grotesque ornaments, are fully as true to nature as the frowsy chamber in the "Turk's Head Bagnio," the quack-doctor's museum in St Martin's Lane, or the mean opulence of the merchant's house in the city. And what story could be more vividly, more perspicuously, more powerfully told than this godless alliance of sacs et parchemins - this miserable tragedy of an ill-assorted marriage ? There is no defect of invention, no superfluity of detail, no purposeless stroke. It has the merit of a work by a great master of fiction, with the additional advantages which result from the pictorial fashion of the narrative; and it is matter for congratulation that it is still to be seen by all the world in the National Gallery in London, where it can tell its own tale better than pages of commentary. The engravings of "Marriage d la mode" were dated April 1745. Although by this time the painter found a ready market for his engravings, he does not appear to have been equally successful in selling his pictures. The people bought his prints; but the richer and not numerous connoisseurs who purchased pictures were wholly in the hands of the importers and manufacturers of "old masters." In February 1745 the original oil paintings of the two Progresses, the "Four Times of the Day" and the "Strolling Actresses" were still unsold. On the last day of that month Hogarth disposed of them by an ill-devised kind of auction, the details of which may be read in Nichols's Anecdotes, for the paltry sum of f4 27,7s. No better fate attended "Marriage a la mode," which six years later became the property of Mr Lane of Hillingdon for 120 guineas, being then in Carlo Maratti frames which had cost the artist four guineas a piece. Something of this was no doubt due to Hogarth's impracticable arrangements, but the fact shows conclusively how completely blind his contemporaries were to his merits as a painter, and how hopelessly in bondage to the all-powerful picture-dealers. Of these latter the painter himself gave a graphic picture in a letter addressed by him under the pseudonym of "Britophil" to the St James's Evening Post, in June 1737.

But if Hogarth was not successful with his dramas on canvas, he occasionally shared with his contemporaries in the popularity of portrait painting. For a picture, executed in 1746, of Garrick as Richard III. he was paid £ 200, "which was more," says he, "than any English artist ever received for a single portrait." In the same year a sketch of Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, afterwards beheaded on Tower Hill, had an exceptional success.

We must content ourselves with a brief enumeration of the most important of his remaining works. These are "The Stage Coach or Country Inn Yard" (1747); the series of twelve plates entitled "Industry and Idleness" (1747), depicting the career of two London apprentices; the "Gate of Calais" (1749) which had its origin in a rather unfortunate visit paid to France by the painter after the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle; the "March to Finchley" (1750); "Beer Street," "Gin Lane" and the "Four Stages of Cruelty" (1751); the admirable representations of election humours in the days of Sir Robert Walpole, entitled "Four Prints of an Election" (1755-1758); and the plate of "Credulity, Superstition and Fanaticism, a Medley" (1762), adapted from an earlier unpublished design called "Enthusiasm Delineated." Besides these must be chronicled three more essays in the "great style of history painting," viz. "Paul before Felix," "Moses brought to Pharaoh's Daughter" and the Altarpiece for St Mary Redcliffe at Bristol. The first two were engraved in 1751-1752, the last in 1794. A subscription ticket to the earlier pictures, entitled "Paul before Felix Burlesqued," had a popularity far greater than that of the prints themselves.

In 1745 Hogarth painted that admirable portrait of himself with his dog Trump, which is now in the National Gallery. In a corner of this he had drawn on a palette a serpentine curve with the words "The Line of Beauty." Much inquiry ensued as to the meaning of this hieroglyphic; and in an unpropitious hour the painter resolved to explain himself in writing. The result was the well-known Analysis of Beauty (1753), a treatise, to fix "the fluctuating ideas of Taste," otherwise a desultory essay having for pretext the precept attributed to Michelangelo that a figure should be always "Pyramidall, Serpent like and multiplied by one two and three." The fate of the book was what might have been expected. By the painter's adherents it was praised as a final deliverance upon aesthetics; by his enemies and professional rivals, its obscurities, and the minor errors which, notwithstanding the benevolent efforts of literary friends, the work had not escaped, were made the subject of endless ridicule and caricature. It added little to its author's fame, and it is perhaps to be regretted that he ever undertook it. Moreover, there were further humiliations in store for him. In 1759 the success of a little picture called "The Lady's Last Stake," painted for Lord Charlemont, procured him a commission from Sir Richard Grosvenor to paint another picture "upon the same terms." Unhappily on this occasion he deserted his own field of genre and social satire, to select the story from Boccaccio (or rather Dryden) of Sigismunda weeping over the heart of her murdered lover Guiscardo, being the subject of a picture in Sir Luke Schaub's collection by Furini which had recently been sold for £400. The picture, over which he spent much time and patience, was not regarded as a success; and Sir Richard rather meanly shuffled out of his bargain upon the plea that "the constantly having it before one's eyes, would be too often occasioning melancholy ideas to arise in one's mind." Sigismunda, therefore, much to the artist's mortification, and the delight of the malicious, remained upon his hands. As, by her husband's desire, his widow valued it at £50o, it found no purchaser until after her death, when the Boydells bought it for 56 guineas. It was exhibited, with others of Hogarth's pictures, at the Spring Gardens exhibition of 1761, for the catalogue of which Hogarth engraved a Head-piece and a Tailpiece which are still the delight of collectors; and finally, by the bequest of Mr J. H. Anderdon, it passed in 1879 to the National Gallery, where, in spite of theatrical treatment and a repulsive theme, it still commands admiration for its colour,. drawing and expression.

In 1761 Hogarth was sixty-five years of age, and he had but three years more to live. These three years were embittered by an unhappy quarrel with his quondam friends, John Wilkes. and Churchill the poet, over which most of his biographers are contented to pass rapidly. Having succeeded John Thornhill in 1757 as serjeant painter (to which post he was reappointed at the accession of George III.), an evil genius prompted him in 1762 to do some "timed" thing in the ministerial interest, and he accordingly published the indifferent satire of "The Times,. plate i." This at once brought him into collision with Wilkes and Churchill, and the immediate result was a violent attack upon him, both as a man and an artist, in the opposition North Briton, No. 17. The alleged decay of his powers, the miscarriage of Sigismunda, the cobbled composition of the Analysis, were all discussed with scurrilous malignity by those who had known his domestic life and learned his weaknesses. The old artist was deeply wounded, and his health was failing. Early in the next year, however, he replied by that portrait of Wilkes which will for ever carry his squinting features to posterity. Churchill retaliated in July by a savage Epistle to William Hogarth, to which the artist rejoined by a print of Churchill as a bear, in torn bands and ruffles, not the most successful of his works. "The pleasure, and pecuniary advantage," writes Hogarth manfully, "which I derived from these two engravings" (of Wilkes and Churchill), "together with occasionally riding on horseback, restored me to as much health as can be expected at my time of life." He produced but one more print, that of "Finis, or The Bathos," March 1764, a strange jumble of "fag ends," intended as a tail-piece to his collected prints; and on the 26th October of the same year he died of an aneurism at his house in Leicester Square. His wife, to whom he left his plates as a chief source of income, survived him until 1789. He was buried in Chiswick churchyard, where a tomb was erected to him by his friends in 1771, with an epitaph by Garrick. Not far off, on the road to Chiswick Gardens, still stands the little red-brick Georgian villa in which from September 1749 until his death he spent the summer seasons. After many vicissitudes and changes of ownership it was purchased in 1902 by Lieut.-Colonel Shipway of Chiswick, who turned it into a Hogarth museum and preserved it to the nation.

From such records of him as survive, Hogarth appears to have been much what from his portrait one might suppose him to have been - a blue-eyed, honest, combative little man, thoroughly insular in his prejudices and antipathies, fond of flattery, sensitive like most satirists, a good friend, an intractable enemy, ambitious, as he somewhere says, in all things to be singular, and not always accurately estimating the extent of his powers. With the art connoisseurship of his day he was wholly at war, because, as he believed, it favoured foreign mediocrity at the expense of native talent; and in the heat of argument he would probably, as he admits, often come "to utter blasphemous expressions against the divinity even of Raphael Urbino, Correggio and Michelangelo." But it was rather against the third-rate copies of third-rate artists - the "ship-loads of dead Christs, Holy Families and Madonnas" - that his indignation was directed; and in speaking of his attitude with regard to the great masters of art, it is well to remember his words to Mrs Piozzi: "The connoisseurs and I are at war, you know; and because I hate them, they think I hate Titian - and let them!" But no doubt it was in a measure owing to this hostile attitude of his towards the all-powerful picture-brokers that his contemporaries failed to recognize adequately his merits as a painter, and persisted in regarding him as an ingenious humorist alone. Time has reversed that unjust sentence. He is now held to have been a splendid painter, pure and harmonious in his colouring, wonderfully dexterous and direct in his handling, and in his composition leaving little or nothing to be desired. As an engraver his work is more conspicuous for its vigour, spirit and intelligibility than for finish and beauty of line. He desired that it should tell its own tale plainly, and bear the distinct impress of his individuality, and in this he thoroughly succeeded. As a draughtsman his skill has sometimes been debated, and his work at times undoubtedly bears marks of haste, and even carelessness. If, however, he is judged by his best instead of his worst, he will not be found wanting in this respect. But it is not after all as a draughtsman, an engraver or a painter that he claims his unique position among English artists - it is as a humorist and a satirist upon canvas. Regarded in this light he has never been equalled, whether for his vigour of realism and dramatic power, his fancy and invention in the decoration of his story, or his merciless anatomy and exposure of folly and wickedness. If we regard him - as he loved to regard himself - as "author" rather than "artist," his place is with the great masters of literature, - with the Thackerays and Fieldings, the Cervantes and Molieres.

Authorities. - The main body of Hogarth literature is to be found in the autobiographical Memoranda published by John Ireland in 1798, and in the successive Anecdotes of the antiquary John Nichols. Much minute information has also been collected in F. G. Stephens's Catalogue of the Satirical Prints and Drawings in the British Museum. But a copious bibliography of books, pamphlets, &c., relating to Hogarth, together with detailed catalogues of his paintings and prints, will be found in the Memoir of Hogarth by Austin Dobson. First issued in 1879, this was reprinted and expanded in 1891, 1897, 1902 and finally in 1907. Pictures by Hogarth from private collections are constantly to be found at the annual exhibitions of the Old Masters at Burlington House; but most of the best-known works have permanent homes in public galleries. "Marriage a la mode," " Sigismunda," "Lavinia Fenton," the "Shrimp Girl," the "Gate of Calais," the portraits of himself, his sister and his servants, are all in the National Gallery; the "Rake's Progress" and the Election Series, in the Soane Museum; and the "March to Finchley" and "Captain Coram" in the Foundling. There are also notable pictures in the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge and the National Portrait Gallery. At the Print Room in the British Museum there is also a very interesting set of sixteen designs for the series called "Industry and Idleness," the majority of which formerly belonged to Horace Walpole. (A. D.)


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