Hogarth's prints hang in our pubs and leap out from our history-books. He painted the great and good but also the common people. His art is comically exuberant, 'carried away by a passion for the ridiculous', as Hazlitt said.In this rich, immensely pleasurable biography Jenny Uglow, acclaimed author of Elizabeth Gaskell, uncovers the man, but also the worlds he sprang from and created. After striving years as an engraver and painter, Hogarth leapt into lasting fame with his progresses of the Harlot and the Rake, the fashionable Marriage la Mode, and the violent scenes of Gin Lane and the Stages of Cruelty. An artist of flamboyant, overflowing imagination, he was a satirist with an unerring eye; a painter of vibrant colour and tenderness; an ambitious professional who broke all the art-world taboos. Never content, he wanted to excel at everything - from engraving to history painting - and a note of risk runs through his life. In Hogarth: A Life and a World, art history comes to life in the voices of Hogarth's own age. The result is an unforgettable portrait of a great artist and a proud, stubborn, comic, vulnerable man.

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