Thursday, June 19, 2014

William Hogarth's Beer Lane

I continue to feature high-resolution pictures of gemlike details from the works of Mr. William Hogarth. One of the great benefits of modern digital technology (such as the G---gle Art Project) is in its ability to help us comprehend our distant cultural past in more precise detail.---though the universal categories of mankind need not necessarily be thereby affected.

Conceived in man’s satiric imagination, Mr. Hogarth’s work show us more than just the mundane physical world, but as that world may be imagined by us. The following engraving from 1751, called “Beer Lane” (presented here courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York), is the companion piece to the more famous “Gin Alley.” The two pictures contrast the evils of drinking gin with the merits of drinking beer. 

Dreamy sign painter presiding over Beer Lane.

Merry butcher.

 Drayman seducing a housemaid.

 Porter taking a break.

Fishmongers singing "New ballad on the herring fishery."

Cheers to our King George!

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