(b London, Nov 10, 1697; d London, 25–26 Oct 1764).
English painter and engraver. He played a crucial part in establishing an English school of painting, both through the quality of his painting and through campaigns to improve the status of the artist in England. He also demonstrated that artists could become independent of wealthy patrons by publishing engravings after their own paintings. He is best remembered for the satirical engravings that gave the name ‘Hogarthian’ to low-life scenes of the period.
William Hogarth was born in St Bartholomew’s Close, London. His father, Richard Hogarth, was a Latin scholar and schoolmaster, who also became the proprietor of a coffee-house that failed; as a consequence, he was confined for four years (1708–12) as a debtor in the Fleet Prison. His misfortunes powerfully impressed Hogarth with the importance of maintaining financial independence. Having shown a talent for drawing, on 2 February 1713 he was apprenticed to Ellis Gamble, a silver-plate engraver of Blue Cross Street, Leicester Fields (now Leicester Square), London, and by ...