The Genius of British Art

Art for the People

Series 1 - Episode 2 Art for the People



Historian Gus Casely-Hayford profiles 18th-century painter and printmaker William Hogarth, and argues he played a key role in shaping the British sense of identity by using his art to depict life among the poor on the streets of London, rather than chronicling the rarefied world of the aristocracy. He also considers the personal reasons Hogarth would have had for choosing to take working-class life as his subject matter, and analyses the role of the city itself in the national consciousness of the period.