A Day in Hogarth’s London

By Paula Rama Silva.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Eighteenth-century London is a time often described as Hogarthian. The main reasons for this lie in the fact that the well-known engraver was able to depict the city, its people and spaces in a very comprehensive way, thus reaching both those outside and captivating those within the system. At a time when London was undergoing major changes as a city and assuming a life of its own, clearly marked by controversial issues such as corruption and hypocrisy, Hogarth presented himself as “the visual interpreter of contemporary urban life”.
This paper draws on “The Four Times of the Day” (1738) to explore how it can take us through a journey of the city and its inhabitants. Included in a sequential format part of an old European tradition of painting the city, this is Hogarth’s acclaimed style of combining the High and the Low, the acceptable and the prohibited, the socially acknowledged and the notoriously rejected. Hogarth gives us here several different images of the “Self” in the one same geographical space that is seen in four different lights: the wintry light of the “Morning”, the misty light of “Noon”, the unusual sunset light of the “Evening” and the mysterious full-mooned light of “Night”.
This paper locates London and Londoners through the eyes of the author who, in each painting, draws several others which mirror a city of contrasts and contradictions. It explores the sounds, sights, vices and habits in The Four Times of the Day bearing in mind that paintings should be looked at as intentional representations.

Keywords: Hogarth, City, Contrasts, Londoners

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.423-438. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.936MB).

Paula Rama Silva

English Lecturer, English Department, Estoril Higher Institute for Hotel and Tourism Studies, Lisbon, Portugal

Paula Rama da Silva graduated in 1997 by the Faculty of Letters of Lisbon University and has a Master Degree in English Teaching by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of New Lisbon University. She is currently an English lecturer at Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo do Estoril and has been an EFL teacher for twelve years working with secondary students. Her current research interests include 18th-century English studies with special focus on social studies. For the past four years she has been doing research in the field of teacher assessment, in Portugal and abroad, with special focus on EFL teachers.


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