Series Spotlight - William Hogarth


To mark the opening of the Hogarth and Europe exhibition at Tate Britain, Rosenstiels present a set of six superior edition prints.

This set of satirical subjects produced between the years 1743 and 1745 poked fun at the wealthier elements of 18th Century society. Each painting captures a group of figures involved in different events with a comedic undertone. They are based indoors and are themed around some of the seedier goings-on of this period.

The story is of an arranged marriage which starts with the arrangement and leads into the terrible behaviour of all those involved, including friends and family members. The two partners display misgivings even before the wedding itself has taken-place and it concludes with the death of the husband and the suicide of the wife after her lover is taken-away leaving just her wedding ring behind, which is then taken by her father as the only remaining item of value. The morality is the danger of arranged marriages and how many of these artificial partnerships would later fall-apart.

Born in England on November 10, 1697, William Hogarth began at a private drawing school, where he joined other students drawing from casts and live models. His first dated painting is The Beggar's Opera (1728), which emphasizes Hogarth's prevailing interests: His involvement with the theatre and with down-to-earth, comic subjects. Though never neglected, Hogarth is chiefly remembered for his satiric engraving more than his painting. He died on October 26, 1764.

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