Some Publications on William Hogarth


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Ronald Paulson, Hogarth: His Life, Art, and Times, 2 vols., New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1971. Revised edition in three volumes: Ronald Paulson, Hogarth, Volume 1: The "Modern Moral Subject" 1697-1732; Hogarth, Volume 2: High Art and Low, 1732-1750; Hogarth, Volume 3: Art and Poltics, 1750-1764, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press; Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 1991-1993.



This is the definitive work on Hogarth's life, based on archival research, which uses almost all the hitherto published and unpublished sources, e.g. Hogarth's manuscripts, baptismal and burial registers, rate books, records of banks and insurance companies, memoirs and letters of contemporaries, and notices in periodicals, including Hogarth's own advertisements. The study sets out, in addition, to show "how Hogarth's background, milieu, personal life, and aesthetic ideas contributed to produce and define his unique kind of art". The author realises, in the context of Augustan literature, that Hogarth's art is based on parodic allusions to specific images as a vehicle of satire. The first edition also contains important appendices in volume 2, not to be found in the revised version of 1991-1993. On the other hand, the new edition deals with several new aspects of Hogarth and his art, e.g. his politics, aesthetics and deistic attitudes, thus correcting a great many small errors of the former edition.



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Ronald Paulson, The Art of Hogarth, London: Phaidon; New York: Praeger, 1975.



A thoroughly illustrated volume and an attempt to deal primarily with the paintings, being "a general critical introduction to the enjoyment of Hogarth's art" emphasising the "difference in the reading of a Hogarth print and the seeing of a Hogarth painting".


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Ronald Paulson, Popular and Polite Art in the Age of Hogarth and Fielding, Notre Dame, Indiana and London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1979 [Ward-Phillips Lectures in English Language and Literature, 10]



Links modes of expression to social structures, circumstances and settings from c. 1730 to 1750. Refers to alphabet books, decks of cards, signboards, engravings and novels.



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Ronald Paulson, The Beautiful, Novel, and Strange: Aesthetics and Heterodoxy, Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.



Includes a revisionist interpretation of Hogarth's aesthetics, building on his deist-Freemason connections (first explored in Hogarth, Volume 2 and 3). See also the review by Timothy Erwin, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 30, no. 3 (1997), 329-31.



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Ronald Paulson, "Putting out the Fire in Her Imperial Majesty's Apartment: Opposition Politics, Anticlericalism, and Aesthetics," ELH [English Literary History], 63 (1996), 79-107.



Deals particularly with The Punishment Inflicted on Lemuel Gulliver and Cunicularii.



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Ronald Paulson, Don Quixote in England: The Aesthetics of Laughter, Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.



This study of the reception of Cervantes' comic novel in England includes a discussion of Hogarth's Don Quixote illustrations. For more details, see the review by Laura J. Gorfkle, Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America, 19, no. 1 (1999), 145-49.










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Peter Wagner, Reading Iconotexts: From Swift to the French Revolution, London: Reaktion Books, 1995.



Provocative study presenting a modern intertextual, post-structuralist view of Hogarth's art, influenced by French theory. Promotes new strategies for decoding the ambiguous sign systems that create "iconotexts", i.e. constructs mingling images and words and "appealing to the observer to activate his/her knowledge of both media". See also the reviews by Martin Heusser, Interactions - The Bulletin of I.A.W.I.S., No. 16 (April 1996), and Leonard Rifas, TCJ [The Comics Journal], No. 188 (July 1996).










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Werner Busch, Das sentimentalische Bild: Die Krise der Kunst im 18. Jahrhundert und die Geburt der Moderne, Munich: C. H. Beck, 1993.



Through a discussion of many examples of history, genre and landscape painting, as well as work of portraiture and caricature, this important German study shows that eighteenth-century artists' views of the world were no longer bound to traditional art theories, but were equally individual, sentimental and subjective. Chapter two, on "Genre", deals with Hogarth's "modern moral subjects" and offers a new and a surprising interpretation of Beer Street and Gin Lane.





















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