Hogarth, William (16971764)

Hogarth, William, a famous English painter, caricaturist, and engraver, born in London; served his time as a silversmith's apprentice; studied painting, and began to support himself by engraving and etching; unsuccessful in his attempts at portrait-painting, he at length found his true vocation in depicting the follies and vices of his age; “A Harlot's Progress,” a series of six pictures engraved by himself, appeared in 1731, and was soon followed by others of a like nature, including “A Rake's Progress,” “Strolling Actresses dressing in a Barn,” “Marriage à la Mode,” “Idleness and Industry”; he also produced some indifferent historical paintings; in 1757 he was appointed sergeant-painter to the king; in his own department Hogarth has never been equalled, and in the opinion of Sir Joshua Reynolds, never will be; the deep moral purpose of his best pictures, made known throughout the country by abundant prints, must have helped not a little to reform the manners of his time (16971764).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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