Kenneth Clark TV - Augustus Caseley-Hayford: The Genius of British Art TV - William Makepeace Thackeray - David Garrick’s epigram -
We have an exceptionally vivid record in the world of Hogarth. Kenneth Clark, Civilisation 10/13, The Smile of Reason, BBC 1969
Here’s the polling booth with the imbeciles and moribund being persuaded to make their mark. ibid.
The urban society, of which Hogarth has left us many, records plenty of animal spirits but not what we could call by any stretch civilisation. ibid.
The history of British art is the story of Britain itself. For centuries artists have reflected our times and shaped the way we see ourselves. In this series we present six passionate polemics on how British art made us who we are today. And in this film [Dr] Gus Casely-Hayford celebrates the artist who more than any other created art that was truly for the people – ‘Hogarth brings a new spirit of inclusiveness into British art. He gives up a vision of ourselves, and we respond to it because it’s true.’ Augustus Caseley-Hayford, The Genius of British Art: Hogarth, Channel 4 2010
Until the eighteenth century ... Our art was for and about the toffs. But in the eighteen century a revolution occurs – a revolution in ink and paint – not blood. ibid.
The most distinctly British artist this country has ever produced: William Hogarth. ibid.
He [Hogarth] shows a new empathy to the marginalised ... High and low, comic and serous. ibid.
Hogath’s London was one hell of a subject for an artist. By far the biggest city in Europe. One in ten Englishmen lived here. ibid.
Rake’s Progress tells the story of a young man who inherits a fortune from a miserly father and thinks that money is going to buy his love ... But Hogarth tells it in his own way. In a series of seriously cinematic scenes that unfold like a movie. ibid.
We could all potentially end up here. We’re all teetering on the edge. ibid.
But Hogarth didn’t just start a revolution in what British art should be about, he was also spoiling for a fight about who our art should be for. ibid.
If there’s one man who flew the flag for distinctively British art that reflected British life as it really was its William Hogarth. He fought to raise the lowly status of British artists. ibid.
The central figure – the Captain – is being tugged both ways. There are no princes or generals or heroes here. Just a pack of drunks and whores and common soldiers. And what Hogarth sees is an ordinary scene of ordinary people can also be a great epic drama of national life. ibid.
Hogarth’s beady eye wasn’t just directed at the ordinary people of London’s streets, in 1745 he delivered the biggest up-yours in his career to the ruling classes of his day. ibid.
This famous set of pictures contains the most important and highly wrought of the Hogarth comedies. The care and method with which the moral grounds of these pictures are laid is as remarkable as the wit and skill of the observing and dexterous artist. He has to describe the negotiations for a marriage pending between the daughter of a rich citizen Alderman and young Lord Viscount Squanderfield, the dissipated son of a gouty old Earl ... The dismal end is known. William Makepeace Thackeray, The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century
Farewell great Painter of Mankind
Who reach’d the noblest point of Art
Whose pictur’d Morals charm the Mind
And through the Eye correct the Heart.
If Genius fire thee, Reader, stay,
If Nature touch thee, drop a Tear:
If neither move thee, turn away,
For Hogarth’s honour’d dust lies here. David Garrick’s epigram for William Hogarth