Art/Resources: Today, I had tea with William Hogarth.

17 September, 2010 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

If you’re interested in the 18th century, you can’t avoid the art of William Hogarth. And why would you want to avoid it, anyway? He was the chronologist of 18th century morals (or lack thereof…); from “The Harlot’s Progress” to “Marriage à-la-mode” he left us a legacy that can’t be valued highly enough: 18th century Britain, unfiltered. I still think you can learn just as much about life in 18th century London by looking at “Gin Lane” as you could from a lengthy academic paper.

In short: I adore Hogarth’s work, so I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when I met him this afternoon in a very unlikely place: the junk-shop just around the corner. Well, it wasn’t William Hogarth in person, but rather a hand-coloured print of his painting “Pit Ticket /Cockpit”, dating back to 1759. It’s not a 19th century reprint; while I don’t know much about painting, I do know quite a bit about paper, and it’s definitely an 18th century print:

It’s in absolutely perfect condition, the colours are wonderful and give a good impression of the fashion of the day. I’m completely in love with it. It was just so bizarre to see a Hogarth print here; maybe prints turn up in junk shops in London all the time, but in this country? Unheard of.

So I’m now the proud owner of a Hogarth (yes, I know, it’s not a painting, but I don’t care), and tomorrow, I’ll remove all furniture and pictures from the back wall in the living room, repaint it and it will be all Hogarth’s.

And as if that wasn’t fortunate enough, I also found two enchanting French 18th century prints. Both have minor water damage; my guess is that all three pictures come from the same place, because there were also other 18th/19 century antiques on sale, which seemed to belong together. Maybe somebody died and the heirs sold everything? I don’t know.

The two prints are also coloured, but in very pale colours, suiting the more elegant art. They are quite cheeky; in the first picture, you can see a lady catching her beau “in flagranti”, with her competitor hiding in the closet, part of her robe caught in the door!

“LA VISITE INATTENDUE.”
Votre indiscretion funeste à tous les deux,
Dans votre sein, Chloris, va jetter les allarmes:
Du tendre amour quels que soient tous les charmes
Il doit avoir un bandeau sur les yeux

“LE BAIN.”
De la Lettre ou du Chocolat
Què préfère Madame? Ah ma chère Justine,
J’ai le coeur bien plus délicat
Plus foible infiniment, hélas! que la poitrine.

Now I’m looking forward to “therapeutic painting” tomorrow. “Light cream” and “antique rose” – I hope Mr. Hogarth will approve.

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Entry filed under: 18th century, art, naughty, resource. Tags: , , , , , .

Overhaul of Molly Joyful’s Useful List of Resources Concert tip: “That Noble Fellow Collingwood” – The New Scorpion Band

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