A Harlot’s Progress and Other Stories

19.04

Prostitution, poverty, vanity, drunkenness and desire. From 14 April you can see how one of England’s greatest artists portrays eighteenth-century London life. 

A young country girl arrives in London in search of work. However, she ends up becoming a prostitute, and her life spirals downwards, bringing prison and venereal disease in its wake.

The new exhibition William Hogarth. A Harlot’s Progress and Other Stories allows you to explore humanity’s quest for success and see lives in decline. It will take you on a journey back to eighteenth-century London as the SMK focuses on the works of the British artist and satirist William Hogarth (1697–1764) with all their drama and teeming wealth of detail.

Satirical and moralising series
Hogarth exposes and lambasts his own age in a range of narrative picture series full of satirical and moral points.

Imbued with social critique, his works were unique in his own day, focusing on many of the pressing issues of the age: prostitution, poverty, vanity, drunkenness, desire and the quest for success.

Serious messages masquerading as entertainment
Several of Hogarth’s works tell stories of people who strive to rise up through the hierarchies of class, but lose themselves in debauchery along the way, heading straight for self-destruction and death.

Hogarth insisted that a picture should capture and retain the spectator’s attention by entertaining and pleasing the eye. This allows the serious message behind the works to sink in as the story gradually reaches its tragic climax.

You can view the exhibition William Hogarth. A Harlot’s Progress and Other Stories at the SMK from 14 April to 7 August 2016.

The exhibition is supported by
Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond

af SMK den 19.04.2016

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