William Hogarth was an 18th-century painter, cartoonist, printer and engraver, best known for his satirical ‘modern moral subjects’ series, of which he sold engravings on subscription. He was a wonderful portrayer of society’s foibles, often in grotesque and hideous forms, including s A Harlot’s Progress, A Rake’s Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode as well as the early product-placement couplet Beer Street and Gin Lane. Considered one of the bedrocks in the history of British cartooning and satire, he’s recently enjoyed a bit of a revival courtesy of a couple of stage plays we covered on Bleeding Cool earlier in the year.
This year, I was made a member of Blacks Club, a private members establishment on Dean Street in Soho, London. You’ll often find me here, writing Bleeding Cool, on a Tuesday to Thursday. The building used to be the dining club of the greet London socialite and literary figure Dr Samuel Johnson in the 18th century, a contemporary of Hogarth. And up and down the stairs, there are dozens of Hogarth prints from the time. They even use one for their website.
I was given permission to photograph a few of them (they are very strict about the use of cameras in here, naturally), with my rather poor smartphone. But nothing beats seeing them in the flesh though as it were. And I am happy to take people round in person… give me a shout sometime. Tuesdays and Thursday a preference…
Here is a gallery of the ones I was able to reach.