When it comes to famous artists, certainly, #WilliamHogarth (1697-1764) ranks very high. An Englishman known for his satirical illustrations and social criticism. He was fascinated with the street life of London and usually sat sketching at many a city fair capturing the characters which surrounded him.Hogarth is best known for his paintings on ‘modern moral subjects’. One set of paintings was titled ‘Marriage a la Mode’. He created paintings satirising many contemporary customs of which ‘The Rake’s Progress’ and ‘The Harlot’s Progress’ are the best known. He was a fine painter but as an artist, he knew that the sale of etchings created from the originals would lead to financial success. Hogarth was so successful that his works were often plagiarised which brought him into lobbying on behalf of the Copyright Act.
In the etching to the left, we see #KingHenryVIII flirting with #AnnaBullen (Boleyn) while his wife, Catherine of Aragon, is seen behind him seated on the throne. On the right of the image we see Cardinal #ThomasWolsey. Anne Boleyn was Catherine of Aragon’s lady-in-waiting. Henry being desperate for a male heir wanted a divorce which Rome would not allow and this lead, eventually, to the English reformation.
The etching was originally printed using only black ink – the colouring has been added at a later date and does add interest to this fine impression.And to finish a small oil painting by an unknown artist from around 1860 of (I believe) Jane and Elizabeth Seymour. Jane became Henry’s third wife.