was born 10 November, 1697, in St. Bartholomew's Close, London,
England. He left school in 1713 and was apprenticed to Ellis Gamble,
a silver-plate engraver and dealer in plate. In 1720 he joined the
St. Martin's Lane Academy, an important step in his development
as a painter. Hogarth published his first independent print in 1724,
Masquerades and Operas, Burlington Gate. This print
attacked English subservience to foreign art.
1728 Hogarth was an accomplished painter, quickly establishing a
reputation as a master of the conversation piece. While he was a
significant portraitist, historical painter, and genre artist, it
is Hogarth's series of narrative engravings that have become fixed
in critical history as a major contribution in both the art and
literature of England.
was in 1732 that Hogarth first used the form that would make him
renowned in his own time. That year, he produced the first of his
modern moral subjects - A Harlot's Progress. The concept
began from a single picture, to which he was encouraged to add a
companion. The ideas multiplied, however, until he had a total of
six images telling the story of a prostitute's downfall. The original
paintings were destroyed by fire in 1755.
profited immensely from the sale of his prints. Never-the-less,
he was irate that others freely used his work for their own gain.
Booksellers openly made cheap copies of his prints to sell and returned
the originals to him unsold. Hogarth appealed to Parliament for
an act securing the rights of artists to their own work, and withheld
his second series - A Rake's Progress - until the act passed
in June of 1735. "Hogarth's Act," as it is referred to,
is the forerunner of the modern British copyright law.
picture series such as A Rake's Progress or Marriage a
la Mode, Hogarth foreshadowed the development of the twentieth-century
comic strip. His merit lies in his ability to superbly balance text
and picture which makes a telling pint in a single statement. His
work was so unconventional from that of his peers that a new name
- cartoon - was created to describe it. As such, Hogarth is most
noted as the father of the modern editorial cartoon. Hogarth is
widely considered as the first artist that the term cartoonist can
legitimately be applied.
series of engravings include: A Harlot's Progress (six engravings),
1732; A Rake's Progress (eight paintings, engraved by Hogarth),
1735; Four Times of Day (four engravings), 1738; Marriage
a la Mode (six paintings, engraved by Hogarth), 1745; Industry
and Idleness (twelve engravings), 1747; Four Stages of Cruelty
(four engravings), 1751; and Four Prints of an Election (four
died at Leicester Fields, 25 October, 1764.
of World Biography. Vol. 7. 2d ed. Detroit: Gale, 1998.
Maurice, ed. Contemporary Graphic Artists. Detroit, Mich.:
Gale Research Company, 1987.