William Hogarth – Biography of William Hogarth

East british artist who was a renowned engraver, illustrator and satirical painter, was born in London on November 10, 1697 and died on October 26, 1764. He was the son of a humble school teacher and textbook author and his birth had occurred in the neighborhood Bartholomew Close From london.

Already in his youth he found engraving because he was hired as an apprentice to the engraver Ellis gamble on Leicester Fields and there he thoroughly learned the trade of recording. However, this restless young man was also interested in the life of the streets and what happened in the London fairs and attending them he drew up a series of sketches of the characters he saw in them.

At this time his father was arrested for a series of debts and taken to prison at the Fleet prison, where he remained for five years; however, Hogarth never wanted to say anything about this painful situation.

Hogarth, having learned the trade of engraver, became independent and established himself as an independent engraver in April 1720, initially finding jobs such as making engravings of the coats of arms, invoices for different commercial stores and designing sheets for booksellers.

In 1727 the upholsterer Joshua morris, hires him to design an allegory of The earth element; while Hogarth was working on the work, Morris learned that William was an engraver and not a painter, so he rejected the work when it was finished; This unpleasant incident forced Hogarth to sue Morris in the courts of Westminster, where the judges decided the case in Hogarth’s favor on May 28, 1728.

Marries Jane Thornhill, daughter of artist Sir James thornhill on March 23, 1729.

Around this time, he decided to continue in his work as a designer, but aiming for painting, a task that was quite difficult, considering that at that time the British kings and nobility did not feel especially favored by English artists, but rather oriented their preferences for foreign artists such as Rubens, Van dyck, Sebastiano ricci Y Canaletto, among others, which is also the explanation for the fact that since the sixteenth century, English artists have so little figuration.

Even though Hogarth was very reluctant and criticized the taste that the English showed for the theme of mythology and the excess of pomp in portraits, he finally had to decline in his position and agreed to this type of painting, in the absence of jobs that were commissioned. While he did some things with historical themes, he was not really more successful.

Renown and recognition really came to him around the 1730s when he turned to satirical themes, relying on readings from Jonathan Swift who openly criticized the hypocrisy of the upper class. Later, around the year 1744, he traveled to Paris where he came into contact with the French rococo, on which he would later rely on the treatment of the dresses and fabrics of the characters in his paintings.

His best paintings led them to make them in engravings to be able to get a greater commercial profit from them, but the only thing he achieved was that he was the victim of piracy throughout Europe, which really prevented him from obtaining a significant profit from them.

His celebrity is largely due to his portraits and engravings, but especially those with satirical series, which he had previously done in paintings. Many consider him the pioneer of comics in the West, since his work ranges from the meticulous and detailed realistic portrait to paintings in the style of the comics graduates modern moral customs and it sometimes shows starkly a mockery of contemporary customs and politics. But without a doubt he is the father of political and social satire.