A type of painting invented by English artist William Hogarth (1697–1764), which satirizes the manners and morals of the period in which he lived

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  • William Hogarth, 'A Scene from 'The Beggar's Opera' VI' 1731

    William Hogarth
    A Scene from 'The Beggar's Opera' VI 1731
    Oil on canvas
    support: 572 x 762 mm frame: 820 x 900 x 90 mm
    Purchased 1909

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  • William Hogarth, 'A Rake's Progress (plate 3)' 1735

    William Hogarth
    A Rake's Progress (plate 3) 1735
    Etching and engraving on paper
    image: 318 x 387 mm
    Transferred from the reference collection 1973

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  • William Hogarth, François Antoine Aviline, 'Four Prints of an Election, plate 4: Chairing the Members' 1758

    William Hogarth, Franois Antoine Aviline
    Four Prints of an Election, plate 4: Chairing the Members 1758
    Etching and engraving on paper
    image: 403 x 540 mm
    Transferred from the reference collection 1973

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Hogarth’s modern moral paintings are typically created as a series. The first series, A Harlot’s Progress 1732, is six scenes showing a country vicar’s daughter arriving in London, being corrupted and eventually dying in misery. Unsurprisingly it was a smash hit. Other major series are A Rake’s Progress and Marriage à la Mode. The idea appears first in A Scene from The Beggar’s Opera.

Hogarth made engraved copies of the paintings which sold widely.