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
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 of 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 bourgeas scorn for everything
pretentious and false.
1. Is the level of art in Great Britain high?
2. William Hogarth is the most colourful artist of 18th
century, doesn't he?
3. What Hogarth's series of paintings do you know?
4. Did Hogarth create his own method?
5. How does William Thackeray describe Hogarth in his