From London daily The Morning Star:
The man who married painting and print
(Monday 19 February 2007)
Tate Britain, London SW1
CHRISTINE LINDEY goes in search of William Hogarth.
WILLIAM Hogarth was a satirist, a moraliser, the “father of British painting,” a story teller and a populist printmaker. His work was the precursor of the comic strip.
Every epoch has emphasised a different aspect of his varied and complex output and he has the rare distinction of having been held in high esteem by both specialists and the wider public in Britain continuously since his own lifetime.
In the mid-20th century, the Marxist art historians Frederick Antal and Francis Klingender were the first to place Hogarth’s work within its social context.
Seeing his art as representative of the emerging mercantile middle class, then a progressive social force, Antal wrote: “Only in England and only during those years could an art have developed with so intensely didactic, utilitarian and moral a purpose and so vigorously combative a spirit.”
Hogarth had personal experience of the harshness and vagaries of life under capitalism.
His father, a financially unsuccessful writer, had opened a Latin-speaking coffee house which went bust. He ended up in Fleet Prison.
From the ages of 10 to 12, Hogarth had to live in debtor’s lodgings nearby.
See also here.
Death by drinking: William Hogarth’s Gin Lane: here.
18th century Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole: here.