In a dramatically changing 18th century Europe, William Hogarth became famous for his vibrant, often sharply satirical, paintings and prints that wittily captured the new modern experience. His art gives a unique and engaging glimpse of the time - its opportunities and innovation, materialism, exploitation and injustices, which continue to resonate today.
But he was not alone. Across Europe, fellow artists were also creating their own vivid images of contemporary life and took on new roles as social commentators. From the rich and poor, the immoral and self-deluding, to the selfish and selfless – all were made characters in pictorial stories that caught people’s imagination and took art in novel directions.
For the first time, this show will bring these works together in one setting. Now you can explore over 60 of Hogarth’s extraordinary works in a new light, alongside images by his international peers – including Pietro Longhi in Venice, Jean-Siméon Chardin in Paris and Cornelis Troost in Amsterdam. Academics, historians and practicing artists are among those who offer a range of perspectives and commentary throughout the exhibition. They suggest new ways of looking at these artworks, enriching our understanding of Hogarth’s incredible body of work.