The Other Hogarth: Aesthetics of Difference
William Hogarth (1697-1764), famous for his satiric representations of high and low life in eighteenth-century London, took as one of his central artistic themes the staging of otherness and difference. In a groundbreaking book, a group of international art historians and cultural theorists investigates this major yet overlooked dimension of Hogarth's art and aesthetics. They show that, whether Hogarth depicts a harlot or a wealthy patroness, a gouty earl or a dissolute rake, a black servant or an effeminate parasite, issues of class, gender, and race reverberate throughout his paintings and prints and deeply inform his unique innovation, the Modern Moral Subject.
Drawing on a broad array of methodologies, the authors of the fifteen essays gathered in this volume include the latest insights of cultural history, gender studies, and visual theory to look afresh at a constellation of themes and issues prominent in Hogarth's work: the construction of diverse social, sexual, and racial identities; the role of women in the family and the public sphere; the critique of a culture of increasing commodification and imperial expansion; issues of politics and patronage; the body as a bearer of aesthetic as well as erotic desire. The volume also features the autobiographical testimony of a contemporary black feminist artist who took Hogarth's work as an inspiration. By looking at this unsuspected dimension of Hogarth's work, The Other Hogarth both presents a revisionist perspective on the artist and invites us to read in his images the broader operations of eighteenth-century visual culture.
In addition to the editors, the contributors to this volume are David Bindman, Patricia Crown, Mark Hallett, Lubaina Himid, Christina Kiaer, Sarah Maza, Richard Meyer, Frederic Ogee, Amelia Rauser, Sean Shesgreen, David Solkin, Nadia Tscherny, James Grantham Turner, and Peter Wagner.