William Hogarth

1697–1764

Biography

Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘Study of Female Nude and Hogarth’s ‘Line of Grace’’ c.1830–1
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Study of Female Nude and Hogarth’s ‘Line of Grace’ c.1830–1

William Hogarth FRSA (; 10 November 1697 – 26 October 1764) was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects", perhaps best known being his moral series A Harlot's Progress, A Rake's Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as "Hogarthian".

Hogarth was born in London into a poor middle-class family. In his youth he took up an apprenticeship where he specialised in engraving. His father underwent periods of mixed fortune, and was at one time imprisoned in lieu of outstanding debts; an event that is thought to have informed William's paintings and prints with a hard edge. His work was influenced by French and Italian painting and engraving.

Hogarth's works are mostly satirical caricatures, sometimes bawdily sexual, mostly of the first rank of realistic portraiture. They became widely popular and mass-produced via prints in his lifetime, and he was by far the most significant English artist of his generation.

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