Hogarth and the Performing Arts: Musical and Cultural Contrasts in 18th Century London
‘My picture was my stage and men and women my actors’ wrote William Hogarth near the end of his life; he loved the theatre, yet the theatrical and artistic taste of high society frequently exasperated him. The lecture shows how Hogarth enjoyed contrasting the world of Italian opera, pantomime and French dancing masters with the street life of impoverished ballad singers, solo fiddlers, booth theatres and other entertainments, and how he used these contrasts to embellish and reinforce his moral messages.
The Enraged Musician: Hogarth’s Musical Imagery
More than 70 of Hogarth’s works include some kind of musical reference, and the lecture examines his use of musical detail; often he uses low-class street musicians playing the fiddle, bagpipe and other instruments to ‘blow a raspberry’, both literally and metaphorically, at the targets of his moral satires. The lecture concludes with an analysis of his print ‘The Enraged Musician’, in which the noise of street musicians and vendors provoke the wrath of an Italian virtuoso violinist as he tries to practise.
See Jeremy Barlow’s book The Enraged Musician: Hogarth’s Musical Imagery (Ashgate).
Both lectures given with digital slides and high quality recorded music.