William Hogarth, ‘Crowns, Mitres, Maces, Etc.’, 1754, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Image rights: Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

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About William Hogarth

English painter and printmaker William Hogarth is best known for his moral and satirical engravings and paintings, such as his eight-scene A Rake’s Progress (begun in 1732) and Marriage à la Mode (begun in 1745). A keen and humorous observer of human behavior, Hogarth depicted the exuberant life around him, from couples carousing in bawdy houses and taverns to scenes of fairs and theaters. Protective against piracy of his work, Hogarth was one of the first to obtain artist’s copyright over his engravings in a law passed as the Hogarth Act in 1735. Although his late work was not well received, Hogarth’s interest in sexuality, social integration, crime and political corruption made a lasting impact and continues to influence contemporary artists like Yinka Shonibare.

British, 1697-1764, London, United Kingdom, based in London, United Kingdom