William Hogarth Captain Lord George Graham in his Cabin,1745 Oil on canvas. National Maritime Museum, London
The painting was commissioned by Graham to commemorate one of his naval battles. It features Graham along side the ship’s clerk and chaplain, and two servants, one of which plays the pipe and tabor. The relaxed ambiance of the painting contrasts heavily with the other works on naval subjects.
“DR. MARTENS HAVE COLLABORATED WITH THE SOANE MUSEUM TO DEPICT ARGUABLY WILLIAM HOGARTH’S MOST FAMOUS PIECE ‘A RAKES PROGRESS’.
Over eight plates Hogarth illustrates the life of Tom Rakewell; a young man who inherits money from his late father and squanders it on expensive clothes, prostitutes and gambling. Although Tom is not portrayed as an evil character, he is certainly out of his depth, thrown into a life trying to emulate the aristocracy without the knowledge or the funds to sustain it.”
By the middle of the 18th century there were between 10-15,000 black people living in London. The development of the slave trade from the mid 17th century brought many more African people to the UK. However not all black people at this time were slaves.
Hogarth’s prints of life in London feature black performers in pageants as well as black actresses and dressers. The picture ‘Strolling Actresses in a Barn’ shows a group of touring actresses in various states of undress as they prepare for that evening’s performance of 'The Devil to Pay’ at the George Inn in South London.
Men at this time could pay to peek at the actresses changing. The figure in the centre of the image looking out at the viewer appears to be performing for us, and casts us as one of these Peeping Toms.
The print also shows the presence of black people in London at the time: to the right a black woman is darning the stockings of an actress; and on the left, a black actress dressed as Aurora (the goddess of dawn) picks lice off the collar of a kneeling colleague whose costume has a mermaid’s tail.
The engraving shows a seedy, disordered side to a play filled with magic and goddesses, but also illustrates the normality of a black presence in English working class communities.
the Hogarth Collection with Dr. Martens
Hogarth was an English painter, printmaker and social critic. His work
draws on London’s unique communities and activities, and provides a
commentary for the city’s diverse culture at the time of their creation.
A Rake’s Progress is one of our most famous artworks, on
permanent display in the Museum’s Picture Room. It is a satirical
depiction of the rise and fall of Tom Rakewell, a country boy who
inherits a fortune. Having gambled it away and squandered it on
debauched evenings in the renowned Rose Tavern in Covent Garden, he
marries a rich one-eyed woman. Once again he loses his fortune in a
gambling house, becomes imprisoned for debt and eventually dies from
madness in the notorious Bedlam asylum.
Before (left) and After (right) - William Hogarth, 1730-31
From the Getty Museum:
This narrative painting describes the moments before a seduction. A young man in red breeches attempts to pull a young woman onto a bed. Struggling, she tries to push him away, dragging her dressing table down with her. Ironically, an open drawer reveals a book on the rules of courtship. Below, a small dog barks, alarmed by the commotion.
In this companion piece to the
Before [the Seduction], a man stands and hurriedly pulls up his breeches after successfully seducing a young woman. Cap and clothing askew, the disheveled woman implores his discretion. The overturned table and broken mirror symbolize the woman’s shattered life now that she has lost her virginity. The dog sleeping in the foreground refers to post-coital exhaustion.
‘Marriage A-la-Mode’ was the first of Hogarth’s satirical moralising series of engravings
that took the upper echelons of society as its subject. The paintings
were models from which the engravings would be made. The engravings
reverse the compositions. After
the death of the old Earl the wife is now the Countess, with a coronet
above her bed and over the dressing table, where she sits. She has also
become a mother, and a child’s teething coral hangs from her chair. The
lawyer Silvertongue invites her to a masquerade like the one to which
he points, depicted on the screen. A group of visitors on the left
listen to an opera singer, possibly a castrato, accompanied by a
flautist. An African page on the right unpacks a collection of
curiosities bought at auction, including a figure of Actaeon. The
paintings on the right wall show 'Lot and his Daughters’ and 'Jupiter
and Io’ (after Correggio). On the left wall is a portrait of the lawyer and 'Rape of Ganymede’ (after Michelangelo).