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Hogarth

Hogarth

[hoh-gahrth]
Hogarth, David George, 1862-1927, English archaeologist, keeper (1909-27) of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. He explored and excavated (1887-1907) in Cyprus, Crete, Egypt, Syria, and Melos. Among his published works are A Wandering Scholar (1896), The Archaic Artemisia of Ephesus (1908), Ionia and the East (1909), The Ancient East (1914, 2d ed. 1950), Hittite Seals (1920), Arabia (1922), and Kings of the Hittites (1926).

See biography by A. H. Sayce (1928).

Hogarth, William, 1697-1764, English painter, satirist, engraver, and art theorist, b. London. At the age of 15 he was apprenticed to a silver-plate engraver. He soon made engravings on copper for bookplates and illustrations—notably those for Butler's Hudibras (1726). He studied drawing with Thornhill, whose daughter he married in 1729. Hogarth tried to earn a living with small portraits and portrait groups, but his first real success came in 1732 with a series of six morality pictures, The Harlot's Progress. He first painted, then engraved them, selling subscriptions for the prints, which had great popularity. The Rake's Progress, a similar series, appeared in 1735. The series Marriage à la Mode (1745) is often considered his masterpiece. With a wealth of detail and brilliant characterization he depicts the profligate and inane existence of a fashionable young couple. Hogarth invented a sort of visual shorthand that enabled him to recall with perfect clarity whatever sight he wished to retain. He became, by this means, an enormously learned artist possessing a profound visual understanding. His Analysis of Beauty (1753) is a brilliant formal exposition of the rococo aesthetic. In such prints as Gin Lane and Four Stages of Cruelty Hogarth is very sincerely didactic, employing the weapons of satire against the cruelty, stupidity, and bombast that he observed in all levels of the society of his day. His portraits The Shrimp Girl (National Gall., London) and Captain Coram (1740) are two of the masterpieces of British painting. Hogarth's major works are in England. In New York City the Metropolitan Museum and the Frick Collection possess examples of his work.

See his Analysis of Beauty, ed. by J. Burke (1955); his graphic works, ed. by R. Paulson (rev. ed. 1970); biographies by P. Quennell (1955), R. Paulson (1971), D. Bindman (1985), and J. Uglow (1997); studies by F. Antal (1962), G. C. Lichtenberg (tr. 1966), S. Shesgreen (1982), and L. S. Cowley (1988).

The Painter and His Pug, self-portrait by William Hogarth, oil on elipsis

(born Nov. 10, 1697, London, Eng.—died Oct. 26, 1764, London) British painter and engraver. Apprenticed at 15 to a silversmith, he opened his own engraving and printing shop at 22. He took private drawing lessons while earning a living as an engraver of book illustrations. His first major work, the satirical engraving Masquerades and Operas, attacked contemporary taste and questioned the art establishment, thus winning him many enemies. In 1728 he embarked on a painting career with a work that reveals his interest in theatre and comic subject matter, A Scene from “The Beggar's Opera”; he also painted “conversation pieces” (informal group portraits) for wealthy clients. His engravings of modern morality subjects, often in sequential sets, were aimed at a wide public, and their outstanding success established his financial independence. To safeguard his livelihood against pirated editions, he fought for legislation protecting artists' copyright. Britain's first copyright act was passed in 1735, the year he published his satirical eight-part series The Rake's Progress. His other satirical series include A Harlot's Progress (1730–31) and Marriage à la Mode (1743–45). The teaching academy he established led to the founding of the Royal Academy (1768).

Learn more about Hogarth, William with a free trial on Britannica.com.

The Painter and His Pug, self-portrait by William Hogarth, oil on elipsis

(born Nov. 10, 1697, London, Eng.—died Oct. 26, 1764, London) British painter and engraver. Apprenticed at 15 to a silversmith, he opened his own engraving and printing shop at 22. He took private drawing lessons while earning a living as an engraver of book illustrations. His first major work, the satirical engraving Masquerades and Operas, attacked contemporary taste and questioned the art establishment, thus winning him many enemies. In 1728 he embarked on a painting career with a work that reveals his interest in theatre and comic subject matter, A Scene from “The Beggar's Opera”; he also painted “conversation pieces” (informal group portraits) for wealthy clients. His engravings of modern morality subjects, often in sequential sets, were aimed at a wide public, and their outstanding success established his financial independence. To safeguard his livelihood against pirated editions, he fought for legislation protecting artists' copyright. Britain's first copyright act was passed in 1735, the year he published his satirical eight-part series The Rake's Progress. His other satirical series include A Harlot's Progress (1730–31) and Marriage à la Mode (1743–45). The teaching academy he established led to the founding of the Royal Academy (1768).

Learn more about Hogarth, William with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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