Willliam Hogarth.
Willliam Hogarth (1697-1764), was a great English painter and engraver, who is famous for his portrayals of human weaknesses. He was born in London.
His father was a schoolmaster. From childhood, Hogarth showed a talent for drawing.
He was apprenticed to a silverplate engraver until 1720 when he went into his own business as an engraver. He also studied painting at the art school of Sir James Thornhill, and in 1729 he married Thornhill's daughter.
Hogarth's earliest completed series of six paintings for which he first became famous was The Harlot's Progress, completed in 1731. This was followed by two other series, A Rake's Progress, eight paintings, and Marriage a la Mode, six paintings.
He made engravings of all these.
In all his paintings Hogarth tried to do the same things. He wanted his paintings to be like a play. Instead of actors on a stage speaking parts, he wanted his paintings to be his stage and the men and women he drew to be his actors and to tell a story. He tried to have them tell their story by certain actions and movements. Although he is often humorous in the way in which he drew things, he never softened or made his subjects pleasant if they were not so.
Because these pictures show wit and are often entertaining, at times Hogarth's talent as a fine portrait painter have been overlooked. His portraits show the same harmony in colour, direct handling of subject, and excellent composition as his storytelling pictures. Some of his more famous portraits are of Peg Woffington, himself with his dog Trump, his sister Mary Hogarth, and also those of Lavinia Fenton and of David Garrick, a famous English actor.
Most of Hogarth's pictures can be seen in the National Gallery in London.

Last Updated (Friday, 19 February 2010 15:27)