The Industrial Revolution, its wheels turning by the mid 18th century, changed everything. Affluence and materialism began for some, exploitation and injustice for others. Technology brought inequality, shifting economies, and the seeds of war. It was during this time that the young painter William Hogarth rose to prominence in Britain. Anything but a “Little Englander,” he had traveled to Europe and was catching the ironies of modern European society in his art. Hogarth’s large paintings told stories through withering stereotypes. The French were silly and salacious, the Italians enthralled with the Roman Catholic Church. Drunks and libidinous ladies populated his canvases. This exhibition places Hogarth’s work in conversation with his peers on the Continent—Chardin, Francesco Guardi, and Cornelis Troost. —E.C.
Tate Britain Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG, UK Get Directions »