English painter and engraver, who satirized the follies of his age.
Hogarth was born in London on November 10, 1697. On finishing his apprenticeship to a silversmith in 1718, he turned to engraving and first became known in 1726 for his illustrations for the novel Hudibras (1726), by Samuel Butler. Hogarth began painting about 1728, producing small group scenes such as A Musical Party (1730?, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge). By 1735 he had established a reputation as a painter of English manners and customs by two series of oil paintings, A Harlot's Progress (1731-1732, destroyed by fire in 1755) and A Rake's Progress (1735, Sir John Soane's Museum, London). Through the sets of engravings he made from these paintings, Hogarth gained renown as a brilliant satirist of moral follies. Plagued by the artistic piracy to which his popular engravings were subject, he secured the passage of a copyright act, often called Hogarth's Act, in 1735.
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