William Hogarth


William Hogarth (1697-1764) is regarded as both painter and social critic. A Londoner, he was apprenticed to a copper engraver, producing book illustrations and trade cards. He began to study painting in 1720, later marrying his tutor's daughter, and first made his name as a portraitist. Not until the 1730s did he begin the works which he regarded as "moral subjects similar to representations on the stage", the first series of six, The Harlot's Progress, being followed by The Rake's Progress, Marriage a la Mode, and others. All are intended to teach by example. Intended by Hogarth as moral tales, his paintings and engravings are today recognized as important historical and social documents.