sábado, 6 de mayo de 2023


Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, studio of Alexis Simon Belle, circa 1712

Prince James Francis Edward Stuart (detail), studio of Alexis Simon Belle, circa 1712 NPG 348

The desperate struggle to restore or resist the return of the Catholic Stuarts, exiled since 1688, impacted the lives of all Britons including the painter, graphic satirist and social commentator William Hogarth (1697-1764).


In July 1745 Charles Edward Stuart landed with his supporters (called “Jacobites”) in Scotland. This signalled his daring campaign to topple the Protestant king, George II, with the backing of Britain’s global adversary France. 

The country descended into turmoil. Regional, local and family loyalty for these rival royal dynasties was heavily tested and opposing visions for the new nation of Great Britain were laid bare. On 4 December Charles and his army arrived in Derby, 120 miles from London.

Through images like Marriage A-la-Mode and The March of the Guards to Finchley Hogarth communicated a sense of external jeopardy, real and imagined, and internal political, social and cultural division. At the same time he offered his fellow Britons a confident, sometimes reassuring, often humorous idea of their rights and liberties. 

For Hogarth, defining and reflecting Britishness and contemporary national life was synonymous with his vision for an authentic, homegrown art which was both educational and entertaining. 

The aim was to make his country a better place, where all honest, hardworking citizens could find success and happiness, and where humanity would be expressed through the care of those in need. For Britain in 2023, Hogarth and his art has never been more relevant.

This exhibition has been produced in partnership with the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery (Partnership with the National Portrait Gallery is part of their transformational Inspiring People project that includes an extensive programme of nationwide activities, funded by The National Heritage Lottery Fund and Art Fund).


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