My Favourite English Painter
From early times Englishmen have been great collectors and travellers. The general level of art in Great Britain has always been high. But it has never reached that of France and Italy. Many greatest foreign masters were attracted to Britain by lavish rewards and honours. Among them were the Flemish Anthony Van Dyck, Harts Holbein of German extraction. They were the originators of the brilliant school of English painting.
As for me, William Hogarth is the most colourful figure, whose paintings attract by their singular originality. Hogarth wrote series of paintings which, like acts of a drama, were bound together by a plot. His famous series are “A Harlot’s Progress”, “A Rake’s Progress” and “Marriage a la Mande”. Jn a few years came another series “Elections”. In them Hogarth displays the English state system, her statesmen and the evil practices going on during election campaigns.
Hogarth didn’t want to follow the vogue and copy the old masters: the truth life, the every day reality seemed to be of greater importance. He breaks off with the old style. Hogarth is the creator of his own method. His contemporaries called Hogarth’s style the “modern moral subject”. Hogarth’s realism paved new ways for English art.
William Thackeray in his book “The English Humourists of the 18th century” describes William Hogarth in the following way: “…he’s a jovial honest London citizen, stout and sturdy man, who has a proper scorn for everything pretentious and false.