Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Rebecca Anne Barr, Sylvie Kleiman-Lafton, and Sophie Vasset

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526127051

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526127051.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Rotund bellies and double chins: Hogarth’s bodies

Rotund bellies and double chins: Hogarth’s bodies

(p.252) 12 Rotund bellies and double chins: Hogarth’s bodies
Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century

Frédéric Ogée

Manchester University Press

In his choice of subjects as in his painting technique, William Hogarth’s rendering of ‘life’ is remarkable for its tangible physicality. Be it for the materiality of its settings or for the variety of human characters, his pictures try to offer some kind of total ‘show’, with a view to representing Nature ‘as it is’ and in action, in opposition to the rarefied delusions of ‘high’ art which tended to show it as it ought to be, and ‘abstracted’. While some forms were certainly more ‘polite’ than others, a true representation of mankind had to allow for the presence of all its specimens. By composing ‘modern history paintings’ in which the most elegant forms converse with the plainest lines, Hogarth endowed variety with a new epistemological and aesthetic status that meant the inclusion of the ones and of ‘the others’. In all his pictures, it is always the human body which, from painful distortions to graceful curves, endows his art with its textural, formal and rhythmic qualities. Hogarthian beauty and grace, far from being abstract concepts, emerge as transient, “living”, physical phenomena, apprehended by the beholder through visual representations of the bodies’ natural and ‘peculiar’ movements.

Keywords:   Hogarth, Nature, British Art, Beauty, Truth

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.