나는n one of his most celebrated paintings, O the Roast Beef of Old England, William Hogarth appears as himself, sketching the fortifications at Calais at the very moment of being mistakenly arrested as a spy in 1748. It is not what you would call a subtle scene. The raggedy French soldiers are on their last legs, barely sustained by watery soup, while a gaggle of fishwives resemble the flounder they are selling from their tatty basket. There’s a fat, greedy friar trying to get his hands on a sumptuous joint of beef which has just been unloaded and is on its way to one of the many English restaurants that thrive in Calais (only 200 years earlier the town had belonged to Britain). Spying, by implication, is not something that Britons resort to, although the figure of Hogarth busily sketching to one side is a warning not to dismiss John Bull as dense. The “Old England” Hogarth conjures up here is affluent, abundant and free. The French, 그 동안에, are reduced to a series of humiliating stereotypes: silly, salacious and in thrall to the absolutist Roman Catholic church (you can just make out some gorgeously attired priests and abasing peasants in the background).
It is easy to see why Hogarth is so often positioned as the founding father of a particular strand of art which is essentially British: figurative, storytelling and not afraid to poke fun at itself. His most famous social satires including A Rake’s Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode are often read as a cross between a Shakespearean comedy and a Carry On film, with more disguises, reversals of fortune, libidinous ladies and drunken lads than you can shake a bottle of gin at.
하나, Tate Britain’s new exhibition Hogarth and Europe sets out to show that the artist was far from anyone’s idea of a “little Englander”. 꽤, he saw himself, and was in turn seen, as a keen citizen of a rapidly globalising marketplace. Not only did Hogarth travel in Europe, but scores of Italian and French painters came to work in his native London, setting up powerful networks of cross-pollination, mutual support and occasional thievery. Even those artists who were happiest staying home were now able to keep a careful eye on the competition. Engraving, a technology that Hogarth embraced, allowed accurate copies of masterworks to circulate far and wide, creating a new virtual community of art workers.
In this new context, O the Roast Beef of Old England starts to read quite differently. In the luscious still-life details – especially that beautiful marbled beef – Hogarth’s work owes a clear debt to Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, the French Academician whose work he had recently seen in Paris and whose luscious still lifes he knew so well. Then there’s the way that Hogarth uses the recognisable topography of the gate of Calais as a framing device, which places his painting firmly in the emerging genre of city views, currently being brought to perfection by Canaletto who was living and working in London. Recent scholarship, 그 동안에, has revealed that Hogarth’s savage anti-Catholic imagery was borrowed from his many Huguenot friends, French Protestant refugees who had fled religious persecution to London. The figure of the fat, greedy friar was modelled by Hogarth’s old friend and master engraver John Pine, a man believed to be of African descent, one of the 3% of London’s population that was black at the time. 드디어, the reason Hogarth’s Old England picture achieved such saturation was thanks to the way it was reproduced on punchbowls and vases painted in China for the English market.
By setting Hogarth’s work alongside his European contemporaries Chardin, Pietro Longhi, Cornelis Troost (sometimes called “the Dutch Hogarth”), Giuseppe Crespi and Nicolas Lancret, the Tate curators are hoping for unexpected connections, echoes and even dust-ups. A case in point: when the Venetian painter Jacopo Amigoni won the job of decorating the stairs in the new buildings for St Bartholomew’s hospital in London in 1730s, Hogarth bustled in and insisted on doing the job without payment. There was a limit to how friendly one could be expected to be towards the competition.
What bound these men together, and occasionally led to them falling out, was their shared understanding of what it meant to be an artist in this modern world. “Hogarth and his contemporaries were the first creative freelancers,” explains co-curator Martin Myrone. “Artists were no longer bound to royal or aristocratic patronage, but were free to set up on their own.” (The same went for musicians such as the Mozart family who toured Britain under their own steam, rather than at the behest of king or empress). Gradually new spaces opened up for independent artists and their studios. In London it was Long Acre, in Paris the Rue St-Jacques. Commercial neighbourhoods now took the place of royal courts and elite academies in the role of building relations between clients, suppliers and the artists themselves.
No one was better poised to take advantage of these shifts than Hogarth, who was born in London in 1697. His hopeless father aspired to be a man of letters but ended up imprisoned for debt after the failure of a coffee shop in which the customers were required to speak Latin. Young William was initially apprenticed to a silver-plate engraver but soon broke from his master – something that would have been professional suicide only 50 years earlier – to set up as an independent copperplate engraver producing book illustrations, tickets and trade cards. Hogarth’s trajectory as a self-published artist carved out new routes to financial success and creative independence. 또 뭔데, his written reflections on the art world combined with his determination to ensure artists’ copyright (successfully made law in 1735), showed a keen sense of how creative workers needed to protect themselves from commercial exploitation and risk.
All this comes across in his famous self-portrait The Painter and His Pug. X-rays have revealed that Hogarth started off painting himself as an artist in the grand manner, with a wig and formal coat with gold buttons. 주위에 1745, possibly following a trip to Paris, he dramatically changed direction and showed himself as a working professional in an informal jacket and cap. He even includes his scar. The way he emphasises the similarities between his own smudgy, snub-nosed face and that of his pug puts one in mind of Lucian Freud’s paintings in which human and animal bodies are placed on a continuum. And the fact that Hogarth chooses to be painted with a pug – a Dutch breed that originated from China – cuts across any sense of him as a bluff patriot who would only pose with a British bulldog.
Hogarth brought this same enlarged sense of selfhood to his portraits of women. Until now it was only princesses and empresses who were painted, their bodies used as fleshy Christmas trees on which to dangle the symbols of their husbands’ wealth. But Hogarth does something quite different, intent on searching for what makes a woman her own person. His most famous painting is of Miss Mary Edwards, an heiress who inherited about £8m in today’s money, 세의 나이에 23. She married a nobleman called Lord Anne Hamilton (his Christian name makes the whole thing even more intriguing) who agreed to take her name. But when Lord Anne started running through Mary’s fortune she insisted on a separation and managed to prove that her marriage was invalid, despite making her son illegitimate in the process. In this portrait, not seen in Britain for a 100 연령, Hogarth shows Mary surrounded with the symbols of a genderless independence: a gun dog, a celestial globe, portrait busts of Alfred the Great and papers which include a proclamation of individual rights. She gazes fearlessly at the viewer, a new woman for a new world.
That same marked sense of individuality is apparent when Hogarth paints his sisters. Subjectivity was no longer the sole preserve of the rich and the aristocratic but could be embodied by middle-class women too. His pictures of Mary and Anne are not glamour portraits but accurate likenesses, instantly recognisable as his siblings by their snub noses and soft jaws. The women have the tough wary faces that come from being brought up with a spendthrift father. They know what it is to go out to work – together they run a children’s clothing shop – and they know how much money is enough. Equally striking are Hogarth’s portraits of his servants whom he draws as individuals, rather than “types”. The Tate curators suggest that Hogarth may well have been inspired by images in Jean-Antoine Watteau’s sketchbook, in which the French artist, normally associated with whimsical fêtes galantes, practises drawing people of African descent.
While the Tate show is eye-opening in the way it repositions Hogarth the bluff patriot as a knowing European, it would be quite wrong, Myrone says, to call him a revolutionary. The progressive left has always had much invested in Hogarth as a class warrior and fearless critic of developing capitalism. Narratives including A Harlot’s Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode offer a fierce critique of men and women debased by their new appetites for gin and sex, but above all for the piles of stuff – silk shawls, cones of sugar, showy geegaws – that were pouring into Britain as a result of its developing empire. But to suggest Hogarth hated capitalism would be as misleading as insisting on him as a proto-Brexiteer. His first loyalty remained always to himself. 에 1757 he was delighted to take over the role of Serjeant Painter to the king from his brother-in-law, much as his closest European ally Chardin happily accepted a state pension. The Hogarth who emerges from this exhibition is neither saint nor sinner, left or right, but a modern artist who knew at any given moment where his best interests lay in a rapidly changing world.