William Hogarth was an Eighteenth Century artist known for his moral tales
When and Where was he Born?
10th November 1697, Bartholomew Close, Smithfields, London, England.
William Hogarth was the only son of Richard Hogarth, a minor classical scholar, and schoolmaster and Anne (nee) Gibbons. Had two sisters.
Apprenticed to a Silversmith Ellis Gamble.
Chronology/Biography of William Hogarth:
1712: He became apprenticed to a master silver plate engraver Ellis Gamble in Leicester Fields. His father was imprisoned in Fleet Prison for debt after the failure of his latin speaking coffee House.
1720: Starts his own business engraving book plates, coats of arms, shop bills and begins to paint people’s portraits. Meets James Thornhill and attends his painting classes at his free art academy in Covent Garden.
1721: Published a satirical print about the South Sea Bubble investments crash which had happened the year before.
1726: Hogarth works on the illustrations for “Hudibras” a novel by Samuel Barber which he felt to be amongst his finest work.
1727: A tapestry maker, Joshua Morris, heard that Hogarth was a printer and commissioned a design for his work called the “Element of Earth” When he heard that he was an engraver and not a painter by trade he refused to pay.
1728: Hogarth successfully sued Morris in Westminster Court in May.
1729: Elopes with Jane Thornhill the daughter of the artist Sir James Thornhill.
1732: Completes his series of paintings “The Harlot’s Progress”.
1735: Hogarth completes his series of paintings “The Rake’s Progress” which depicts the life of Tom Rakewell, the son of a rich merchant. Helps pass a law which says that artist’s work cannot be used without the payment of royalties. Starts the St Martin’s Lane Academy which is for artists and a school for young artists.
1740: Began one of his most famous portraits “The Shrimp Girl”.
1743: Completes his series of six paintings called “Marriage a la Mode” depicting upper class life where marriages were made for money. This is generally regarded as his best work by critics and is on show in the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.
1746: Hogarth paid £200 for his portrait of the famous actor David Garrick which was a colossal sum at the time.
1748: Visits Calais where he is almost arrested after sketching the bridge and has to prove his talent as an artist by sketching caricatures for the Governor.
1751: Paints his famous works of “Beer Street” where the inhabitants are all happy and prosperous and “Gin Lane” about drunkenness amongst the lower classes. The prints were sold in aid of the Gin Act shortly to go through parliament. It is possible that his friend the novelist Henry Fielding recruited him for this purpose.
1752: Passing of an Act of Parliament allowing the dissection of executed murderers for scientific purposes. This is reflected in his work “The last painting of his “Four Stages of Cruelty series”.
1755: The original Paintings for the Harlot’s Progress series of prints were destroyed in a fire at Fonthill Abbey.
1757: Hogarth appointed by King George the Second as his Sergeant Painter.
1763: Suffers a seizure.
1724: “The Lottery”, “The Mystery of Masonry brought to Light by the Gormogons”, “A Just View of the British Stage”
1727: “Large Masquerade Ticket”
1728-32: “The Fountaine Family”, “The Assembly at Wanstead House” , “The House of Commons examining Bambridge”, Several portraits of actors in John Gay’s “the Beggars Opera.”.
1732: “The Indian Emperor, or The Conquest of Mexico.”
1733: “A Midnight Modern Conversation” “Southwark Fair”
1735: “A Rake’s Progress”
1736: “The Sleeping Congregation”, “Before and After”, “Scholars at a Lecture”, “The Company of Undertakers (Consultation of Quacks)”, “The Distrest Poet”, “The Pool of Bethesda and The Good Samaritan.”
1738: “The Four Times of the Day” “Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn.”
1740: “Portrait of Captain Thomas Coram” (Founder of the Foundling Hospital).
1741: “The Enraged Musician.”
1745: “Self Portrait.”
1746: “Portrait of the Actor David Garrick as Richard III”, “Sketch of Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat.”
1747: “Industry and Idleness”, “The Stage Coach or The Country Inn Yard.”
1748: “Paul before Felix”, “The Gate of Calais.”
1750: “March of the Guards to Finchley.”
1751: “The Four Stages of Cruelty.”
1753: “False Perspective” (Satire)
1755: “The Election” series.
1756: Alterpiece for St. Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol.
1759: “The Cockpit.”
1764: “Tailpiece, or The Bathos.”
1724: “Masquerades and Operas.”
1753: “The Analysis of Beauty.”
1762: Publishes an anti war satire in the Times newspaper.
1720’s to Jane Thornhill. On 23 March 1729 Hogarth married Jane Thornhill, daughter of artist Sir James Thornhill.
When and Where did he Die?
25th October 1764, London, England.
Age at Death:
Site of Grave:
St. Nicholas’s Churchyard, Chiswick Mall, Chiswick, London, England.
Places of Interest:
St. Mary Redcliffe Church.
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro.
Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester.
Walker Art Gallery.
Hogarth’s House, Hogarth Lane, Chiswick.
The National Gallery.
National Portrait Gallery.
Thomas Coram Foundation.
Sir John Soane’s Museum.
Aberdeen Art Gallery.