Joel Blair (essay date spring 1976)
SOURCE: Blair, Joel. “Hogarth's Comic History-Paintings and the Satiric Spectrum.” Genre 9, no. 1 (spring 1976): 103-19.
[In the following essay, Blair explores Hogarth's redefinition of history painting as a means of representing middle-class subjects.]
Even though the twentieth-century public has finally acknowledged the virtues of Hogarth's portraits and traditional history-paintings, his reputation still rests, as it should, on his great cycles, beginning with A Harlot's Progress (1732) and ending with An Election (1758). Frederick Antal calls them “the very beginning of a purely English art”; their author, he says, created a “genre unique...
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