William Hogarth

1697 (London) – 1764 (London)

Hogarth’s masterfully constructed, bitingly satirical prints and paintings remain influential to this day, inspiring novels, plays and operas as well as visual works. He met Johnson at Richardson’s, astonished that the apparent shambling idiot could be so eloquent. He knew Garrick well, occasionally visited Goldsmith, and was described by Swift as a pleasant rogue. Among other friends, he caricatured Pope, was a governor (with Handel) of Coram’s charity, and was written about by Fielding (who may have encouraged his Gin Lane prints). He was captivated by a dissection of Hunter’s, but despite a myth, may never have met Sterne.