My friend Pete has inspired me, reading his blog. He and Tricia went to Chiswick House recently and Pete has written about Hogarth.(Edited as Pete has been a trifle naughty!)
I often go to CH as its very local to me . Sometimes I am accompanied by a friends dog.
Its a place that Valerie walked her Labradors (when she had them) and I thought some of the things that Hogarth believed in were close to her heart too.
Hogarth may have lived three centuries ago, but his interests lay in matters which strike many chords with people today.
* Animals appear in many of his works - a pet monkey, a dog stealing food, pigs scampering away from a crowd - but his series of prints, Four Stages of Cruelty, against the horrors of London crime, show his abhorrence of their ill-treatment.
* His fondness for children is clear in his paintings, such as those of the Ranby children, who lived near him in Chiswick. And he was an energetic supporter of the Foundling Hospital, fostering some of its children each summer at his Chiswick house.
* His was sympathetic to the ordinary people of London, including the many black people who were his contemporaries, and portrays them with affection, both in conversation pieces and amongst the crowds on the street.
* He hated injustice and the corruption of his time, showing it in some of his work, such as his series of pictures of an election. He was also outraged that others produced pirated versions of his prints without any return for himself, campaigning successfully in 1735 for the first ever Act of Parliament which protected artists' intellectual property rights.
There is a sculpture of Hogarth in Chiswick High Rd accompanied by a pug. When it first went up the paintbrush in his hand kept being stolen. I must check and see what they have done to stop this!
see the sculpture here