From Beer Street to Gin Lane and back again

Hogarth is best known for his series paintings of 'modern moral subjects', of which he sold engravings on subscription. The Collection contains the set called 'Marriage A-la-Mode'. Although pugnaciously hostile to Continental art, he succumbed to French influence. In 1753 he published his 'Analysis of Beauty', in which he stresses the importance of the serpentine line.

Marriage à-la-mode is a series of six pictures painted by William Hogarth between 1743 and 1745 depicting a pointed skewering of upper class 18th century society. This moralistic warning shows the disastrous results of an ill-considered marriage for money and satirises patronage and aesthetics. This is regarded by many as his finest project, certainly the best example of his serially-planned story cycles.The pictures are exhibited in the National Gallery, London.

This series of paintings was not received as well as his other moral tales, A Harlot's Progress(1732) and A Rake's Progress (1735), and when they were finally sold in 1751, it would be for a much lower sum than the artist had hoped for.

In the first of the series, The Marriage Settlement, he shows an arranged marriagebetween the son of bankrupt Earl Squanderfield and the daughter of a wealthy but miserlycity merchant. Construction on the Earl's new mansion, visible through the window, has stopped and a usurer negotiates payment for further construction at the center table. The Earl proudly points to a picture of his family tree.

 The Tête à Tête, there are signs that the marriage has already begun to break down. The husband and wife appear uninterested in one another, amidst evidence of their separate overindulgences the night before. A small dog pulls a lady's cap from the husband's coat pocket, indicating his adulterous ventures. A broken sword at his feet shows that he has been in a fight.

This scene of drunken confusion is imaginary, but Hogarth nevertheless shows in the distance the steeple of St George's, Bloomsbury with its statue of George I wearing a toga. He is pointing out the association between excess in artistic style with excess in private manners and morals, and perhaps also the inability of the government and the church to remedy the evil effects of gin. The steeple was originally adorned with lions, unicorns, festoons and crowns (these gorgeous baroque touches were removed in 1871). Horace Walpole called the building a 'master-stroke of absurdity', and the Pocket Guide to London says that the church 'enjoys the privilege of being at once the most pretentious and ugliest ecclesiastical edifice in the metropolis. All the absurdities of the classic style are here apparent.'

The print was produced as part of a campaign to restrict the sale of gin (and bad taste in art), the effects of which are graphically depicted here: buildings are allowed to go derelict, children die from neglect, the honest businessman hangs himself for lack of trade, the pawnbroker prospers, the gin manufacturer thrives, the coffin maker does excellent business and the general population create mayhem.

Gin was first produced in Holland in the early 17th century and became popular in England after the arrival of William and Mary from the Netherlands in 1688, when regulations regarding distillation were relaxed. It was a cheap and a strongly alcoholic drink, advertised with the following catch phrase:

Drunk for a Penny
Dead drunk for two pence
Clean straw for Nothing

Drunkenness became a major social problem and the government subsequently made several attempts to control its sale, including the Gin Act of 1736, which required retailers to obtain a licence for £50 and increased duty fivefold, but this measure was very unpopular, and various means of evasion were practised, for example the sale of gin under other names, including 'Ladies Delight',  'Strip-me-Naked', and 'Cuckold's Comfort', and the government was forced to repeal the Act following riots in 1743. Another more successful attempt to legislate was made in 1750. 

William Hogarth's Gin Lane is arguably one of his most famous works of engraved art. Along with its companion, Beer StreetGin Lane addressed a very real problem in mid eighteenth century England -- the abuse of spirits by the working classes and the poor. In the right foreground an emaciated ballad singer has just passed away. His left hand still clutches his bottle. Even worse, a drunken woman is taking her snuff while her unattended baby falls to his death in front of the Gin Royal Tavern. Behind the wall a man and his dog fight for a bone. Further back, a man pawns his coat and saw and his wife her kitchen utensils for a few more drinks. The sour faced pawn broker is appropriately named, "S. Gripe". Both his wealthy home and clothes stand in direct contrast to the ruination around. Only pawn brokers, coffin makers and distillers profit in such a society.


In this print the spire of St Martins in the Fields can be seen in the distance, serving to contrast the good taste of James Gibbs' monument with the pompous baroque conceit of Hawksmoor's church shown on the Gin Lane print.

Under the influence of good old British beer, Prosperity and Contentment crown Father Fatness with Happiness, and buxom Wenches show a proper inclination to Flirtatiousness. The only business not flourishing here is the pawnbroker's on the right. Compare the pawnbroker in Gin Lane.

Further evincing a rather well developed sense of good order and proper conduct, the parcel of books in the lower right corner is on its way to the luggage maker to be used as lining paper. The books include Modern Tragedies, Hill on Royal Societies, Turnbull on Antique Painting, Politicks Vol. 9999 and Lauder on Milton. Lauder had tried to impugn Milton with plagiarism, and, as a parcel, the books represent views and opinions for which, if good sense prevailed, there would be no market.

Martin Rowson’s first published cartoons, ‘Scenes from the Lives of the Great Socialists’, appeared in the New Statesman in 1982. Rowson was appointed ‘Cartoonist Laureate’ of London when Ken Livingstone was Mayor, and his cartoons appeared in the Mayor's newsletter, The Londoner. Who's Who lists his interests as ‘cooking, drinking, ranting, atheism, zoos, collecting taxidermy’ Rowson contributes regularly to The Guardian, Spectator, The Mirror, The Independent Magazine, Independent on Sunday and the Morning Star.

Robe à l'Anglaise, London (Spitalfields), c. 1740-1750. Silk lampasette brocaded with colored silks. The design of this fabric with large flowers and meandering ribbons is similar in style to those created between 1742 and 1745 by the foremost English silk designer of the eighteenth century, Anna Marie Garthwaite. Garthwaite's dated pattern books from about 1726 to 1756 provide a guide to the dating of surviving English silk fabrics, the designs of which changed seasonally.

14 March 1688 – October 1763) was an English textile designer known for creating vivid floral designs for silk fabrics hand-woven in Spitalfields near London in the mid-18th century. Garthwaite was acknowledged as one of the premiere English designers of her day. Many of her original designs in watercolours have survived, and silks based on these designs have been identified in portraiture and in costume collections in England and abroad.

Garthwaite's work is closely associated with the mid-18th century fashion for flowered woven silks in the Roccoco style, with its new emphasis on asymmetrical structures and sinuous C- and S-curves. She adapted the points rentrés technique developed by the French silk designer Jean Revel in the 1730s for representing near-three-dimensional floral patterns through careful shading, and designed large-scale damasks as well as floral brocades. From 1742–43, Garthwaite's work—and English silk design in general—diverged from French styles, favouring clusters of smaller naturalistic flowers in bright colours scattered across a (usually) pale ground. The taste for vividly realistic florals reflects the advances in botanical illustration in Britain at this time, and can be contrasted with French silks of the period which show stylised flowers and more harmonious—if unrealistic—colourations

This design is typical of English dress silks of the period: the spare sprays of flowers are set on a white background, and the branch supporting the flowers meanders back and forth across the width of the fabric. The appearance of the truncated branch from which various types of flowers bloom may be a nod to the chinoiserie trend in the eighteenth-century Rococo style.


Drawn by Light: The Royal Photographic Society Collection

From serene landscapes to exquisite nudes, this new exhibition brings together over 200 extraordinary highlights from the collection of the world’s oldest surviving photographic society, by some of the greatest names in photography. 

Founded in 1853, the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) Collection is now held at the National Media Museum, Bradford as part of the National Photography Collection. With over 250,000 images, 8,000 items of photographic equipment and 31,000 books, periodicals and documents, it's one of the most important and comprehensive photographic collections in the world. 

In collaboration with the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Mannheim, Germany, and with the support of The Royal Photographic Society, the Science Museum has made a selection of key treasures from this extraordinary collection.

Visitors can see some of the earliest known photographic images dating back to the 1820s, by pioneers of photography such as Roger Fenton, William Henry Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron, alongside contemporary works by some of modern photography’s most influential figures, such as Don McCullin, Terry O’Neill and Martin Parr.

Key artefacts from the history of photography, such as Nièpce’s heliographs and Fox Talbot’s experimental cameras, will also be on display.

Visit Drawn by Light: The Royal Photographic Society Collection to discover stories behind some of the world's most famous photographers and their works, and explore how photography has fundamentally shaped our perception of the world.


Terry O’Neill is one of the world’s most collected photographers whose work hangs in national art galleries and private collections worldwide. For over six decades, he has photographed the frontline of fame, from the greats of screen and stage to presidents, prime ministers and rock stars.

No other living photographer has embraced the span of fame, capturing the icons of our age from Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela, from Frank Sinatra and Elvis to Amy Winehouse, from Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot to Nicole Kidman, as well as every James Bond from Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan.

He photographed The Beatles and The Rolling Stones when they were still struggling young bands in 1963, pioneered backstage reportage photography with David Bowie, Elton John, The Who, Eric Clapton and Chuck Berry and his images have adorned historic rock albums, movie posters and international magazine covers.

At first glance, his photographs seem exaggerated or even grotesque. The motifs he chooses are strange, the colours are garish and the perspectives are unusual. Parr’s term for the overwhelming power of published images is “propaganda”. He counters this propaganda with his own chosen weapons: criticism, seduction and humour. As a result, his photographs are original and entertaining, accessible and understandable. But at the same time they show us in a penetrating way how we live, how we present ourselves to others, and what we value.

Leisure, consumption and communication are the concepts that this British photographer has been researching for several decades now on his worldwide travels. In the process, he examines national characteristics and international phenomena to find out how valid they are as symbols that will help future generations to understand our cultural peculiarities. Parr enables us to see things that have seemed familiar to us in a completely new way. In this way he creates his own image of society, which allows us to combine an analysis of the visible signs of globalisation with unusual visual experiences. In his photos, Parr juxtaposes specific images with universal ones without resolving the contradictions. Individual characteristics are accepted and eccentricities are treasured.

London becomes a landscape of hell in this vision of a society falling down. A baby is dropped into the abyss. Addicts slump in the streets. A building tumbles and a corpse is dumped in a cheap coffin. Hogarth’s nightmare scene resembles a fantasy painted by Bosch, but the steeple of St George’s Bloomsbury church shows this is set in central London. Far from indulging in horror for its own sake, Hogarth wants to reform working-class morality in this cheap, popular print. He is condemning the craze for gin, the heroin of its day, in this image of the poor drinking themselves to death Barney Burstein

When Marie-Antoinette meets Vivienne Westwood...  Le XVIII au gout du jour is an extravagant exhibition held in the apartments of The Grand Trianon in Versailles, and dedicated to the influence of the 18th century on modern fashion. Fifty models by great designers of the 20th century dialogue with costumes and accessories from the 18th century.

French culture of the 18th century was embodied by Marie-Antoinette, Madame de Pompadour and Madame Du Barry -- paragons of frivolity that have always fascinated the movie industry, writers and the fashion world. With its huge powdered wigs, hoop petticoats, corsets, embroidered vests... This extravagant style has influenced many designers of the 20th century.

Vivienne Westwood brings back brazen courtesans, fashionable Belles are corseted by Azzedine Alaia, Christian Lacroix drapes his queens with brocades lavishly gleaming with gemstones, and Olivier Theyskens summons up the ghost of Marie-Antoinette in a Hollywood film. With Yohji Yamamoto, court dresses are destructured and so does Rei Kawakubo with riding coats. While Thierry Mugler hides oversized hoops under the dresses, Jean Paul Gaultier puts them upside down.

All of these pieces come from the archives of maisons de couture and from the Galliera Museum's collections.

One of the designers who drew inspiration from the 18th century, for a collection entitled Portrait in 1990/1991, was Dame Vivienne Westwood. For the A/W collection, Boucher paintings were printed onto corsets and ample pannier dresses were decorated with mischievous cherubs. Westwood continued to draw on trends and themes from The Age of Enlightenment as inspiration for her collections. A fervent advocate of the art of tailoring, the British designer used ribbons instead of safety pins and masterfully assembled her subversive historical models. As one of fashion's iconic trailblazers, Westwood set the trend for future collections, with designers including Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel and Christian Lacroix all following suit.- See more at:

Men and women wore very different clothes at the beginning of the eighteenth century than they did at the end. The skill of tailors and dressmakers had developed to such an extent that clothing styles were lavished with attention to detail and ornament by midcentury. However, despite the growing skills of tailors, dress became simpler by the end of the century. The dramatic changes reflected the political and cultural changes during the century, including the American (1775–83) and French (1789–99) Revolutions. Throughout Europe and the newly created United States of America, people's attitudes about dress changed. No longer were the monarchs the only trendsetters of fashion. Later, toward the end of the century, clothing styles began to simplify as people looked to the country and to nature for fashion inspiration.

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, men wore outfits similar to those worn in the previous century. On their upper bodies wealthy men wore white linen or cotton shirts with a lace-edged jabot, or tie, topped with sleeveless waistcoats and a long-sleeved justaucorps, long overcoats. Below they wore satin knee breeches and silk hose held at the knee with garters. Working men wore much simpler, less well-made clothes of wool or cotton. By the middle of the century, wealthy men wore the same clothing, but the fit and decoration of these styles had changed quite a bit. The skirts of waistcoats stuck out away from the man's hips with padding or boned supports, and knee breeches fit very tightly against the leg. The fabric for men's clothes was bright and often elaborately embroidered with flowers or curving lines. Men's clothes at the end of the century, however, were very different. Most men wore dark clothes with little decoration. With the rejection of decoration, the difference between a working man's clothes and a wealthy man's became noticeable only from the cut and the quality of the fabric.



Women's clothing styles changed just as dramatically as men's. From the beginning to the middle of the century, women's clothing became larger and more laden with decoration. Wealthy women wore dresses made of brightly colored stiff silk woven with bold floral and striped designs, and many chose Chinese fabrics for their dresses. By midcentury the skirts of women's dresses held many yards of decoration, including layers of ruffles, bows, and lace, and were held out away from the hips with the help of panniers, or stiff hoops. 


In great contrast to the width of their skirts, women's waists were cinched tightly in corsets. The front of their gowns cut deep to display the tops of their breasts and were so revealing that some women tucked lace scarves, called modesty pieces, along their necklines to hide their breasts. Most dresses had three-quarter length sleeves to which women added engageantes, or many tiers of ruffled white lace at the elbow. By the end of the century, however, women discarded these huge and elaborate dresses for the robe en chemise, a simple white cotton dress with a high waist and tiny sleeves.

Hogarth's London

During the night of 25/26 October 1764, William Hogarth (1697-1764), one of the great chroniclers of London, died at his home in Leicester Fields. For over thirty years, in his paintings, but even more so in his engravings, he captured the highs and especially the lows of life in London. Hogarth’s acute observations of the human condition were played out on the streets where he was born, lived, worked and died; they have placed an indelible stamp on the way we imagine Georgian London. Hogarth’s striking compositions and eye for the telling detail capture the vitality and suffering of the lower orders and the pretensions of the aspiring middle classes. Pugnacious and insecure, touchy yet convivial, ambitious and public spirited, William Hogarth was a complex and contradictory individual. The son of a poverty-stricken schoolteacher imprisoned for debt, he rose to become Serjeant Painter to the King, but was never fully accepted by the London art establishment. 
This exhibition of fifty of the artist’s best-known London satirical prints marks the 250th anniversary of his death. Hogarth’s cautionary tales of eighteenth-century London ?  ‘modern moral subjects’ as he called them – include A Harlot’s Progress, A Rake’s Progress, The Four Times of Day, Industry and Idleness and, of course, Gin Lane and Beer Street. His dynamic narratives, full of incident and dense with topical references, tell stories of contemporary London types who would have been immediately recognisable to audiences of the time. 
In the two hundred and fifty years since he died, Hogarth’s commentaries on London have inspired numerous artists to look at life in London in their own time. Though neither a cartoonist nor strictly a caricaturist, his satires remain a touchstone for satirists from David Low and Ralph Steadman to Steve Bell and Martin Rowson. This exhibition invites the public to look more closely at the original pictures and discover a London which is sometimes horrifying, but always fascinating. 

Sometime during the genesis of Gareth Pugh's latest collection, The Wizard of Oz bumped into Predator. The result was the kind of showy fashion farrago that has been a London staple since…oh, at least since Stonehenge was built. Coco Rocha marched out in a samurai dress made from zippers, and we were off. The zipper peplum, the zipper panniers, and the huge zipper shoulder pads were exploded components of what might almost have been a Joan Crawford costume, if she'd ever gotten to play the Predator Queen of Outer Space. Those famously exaggerated Crawford shoulders could also be inferred from a hooded gray flannel cape, or in-furred from the huge, shaggy goat-hair "epaulets" on a wrapped coat.

Pugh set out to make his models look like warrior women, emphasizing shoulders throughout with, first, the zips, then the flannel, the goat hair, and finally, polyhedra in leather or PVC. What that all pointed to was the weirdly Hollywood-ish glamour of the collection, recasting familiar items with diva-esque excess, hard edges, and a little wit: a tunic dress made entirely from safety pins, for instance; or a white coat-dress with a bolero back, also trimmed in safety pins; or almost any of the pieces that found creative things to do with all that goat hair. The fact that many of the shapes were surprisingly basic under the decorative add-ons (a quilted wind coat or a voluminous parka made up of polyhedra looked positively commercial) only made it clearer that Pugh is the latest in an illustrious line of British designers for whom the show's the thing. The partisan crowd shrieked with glee. When Pugh played Gary Glitter's chant, "D'you wanna be in my gang?" at the finale, there was no question about it.

There are a few rare young designers that don't need to shout to be heard. What Green achieved today was a breathtakingly beautiful silent protest. Everything was stripped away – colour palettes, fabrics and textures – to allow for drama in the movement. Models walked down the runway with angular wooden sculptures balanced precariously behind their heads, loosely tied fabric sheets floating from the structures like a flag with threads trailing in their wake. Fashion, as of late, has been spoon-fed to its audience, overwhelmed by obvious references, easy minimalism and satiable motifs that rack up the likes on Instagram. Green's show was a welcome counterbalance to that, proving that there is still beauty in honesty and a complexity in purity. 

"I feel like every season is a reaction to the one before, so this season we wanted it to be freer and we wanted it to feel beautiful, in a way. For the fabric to have a beauty to it with the movement and the flags and everything, was so important. Everything was meant to have a delicateness and a beauty even though it was kind of hard and padded and drapey and a had lot of fabric. It was the movement of it. It was meant to be masculine but it's a kind of beauty rather than something feminine.” Craig Green.''

Kazimir Malevich, an artist as influential as he was radical, cast a long shadow over the history of modern art. This, his first retrospective in thirty years and the first ever in the UK, unites works from collections in Russia, the US and Europe to tell a fascinating story of revolutionary ideals and the power of art itself.

Malevich (1879–1935) lived and worked through one of the most turbulent periods in twentieth century history. Having come of age in Tsarist Russia, Malevich witnessed the First World War and the October Revolution first-hand.

His early experiments as a painter led him towards the invention of suprematism, a bold visual language of abstract geometric shapes and stark colours, epitomised by the Black Square. One of the defining works of Modernism, the painting was revealed to the world after months of secrecy and was hidden again for almost half a century after its creator’s death. It sits on a par with Duchamp’s ‘readymade’ as a game-changing moment in twentieth century art and continues to inspire and confound viewers to this day.

Starting from his early paintings of Russian landscapes, agricultural workers and religious scenes, the exhibition follows Malevich’s journey towards abstract painting and his suprematist masterpieces, his temporary abandonment of painting in favour of teaching and writing, and his much-debated return to figurative painting in later life.

malevivh Suprematism is fundamentally opposed to the postrevolutionary positions of Constructivism and materialism. Constructivism, with its cult of the object, is concerned with utilitarian strategies of adapting art to the principles of functional organization. Under Constructivism, the traditional easel painter is transformed into the artist-as-engineer in charge of organizing life in all of its aspects.

Name given by the Russian artist Kasimir Malevich to the abstract art he developed from 1913 characterised by basic geometric forms, such as circles, squares, lines and rectangles, painted in a limited range of colours

The first actual exhibition of suprematist paintings was in December 1915 in St Petersburg, at an exhibition called O.10. The exhibition included thirty-five abstract paintings by Kazimir Malevich, among them the famous black square on a white ground (Russian Museum, St Petersburg) which headed the list of his works in the catalogue.

In 1927 Malevich published his book The Non-Objective World, one of the most important theoretical documents of abstract art. In it he wrote: ‘In the year 1913, trying desperately to free art from the dead weight of the real world, I took refuge in the form of the square.’ Out of the ‘suprematist square’ as he called it, Malevich developed a whole range of forms including rectangles, triangles and circles often in intense and beautiful colours. These forms are floated against a usually white ground, and the feeling of colour in space in suprematist painting is a crucial aspect of it.

Suprematism was one of the key movements of modern art in Russia and was particularly closely associated with the Revolution. After the rise of Stalin from 1924 and the imposition of socialist realism, Malevich’s career languished. In his last years before his death in 1935 he painted realist pictures. In 1919 the Russian artist El Lissitsky met Malevich and was strongly influenced by suprematism, as was the Hungarian born Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

Wunderkind's designer - Wolfgang Joop, found inspiration for his Winter 2009 collection in the Russian art movement called Suprematism, which is based on fundamental geometric forms.Kasimir Malevich started this movement in 1915 by presenting his painting: Black Square.


The exhibition brings together 250 works by 110 artists from China, the Former Soviet Union, Taiwan, the UK and the USA in a comprehensive survey celebrating Pop Art's legacy. Post Pop: East Meets West examines why of all the twentieth century's art movements, Pop Art has had such a powerful influence over artists from world regions that have had very different and sometimes opposing ideologies. 

The exhibition celebrates the art being produced in these four distinct regions since the heyday of Pop, and presents them in relation to each other through the framework of six themes: Habitat; Advertising and Consumerism; Celebrity and Mass Media; Art History; Religion and Ideology; Sex and the Body. 

Widely regarded as the most significant art movement of the last century, Pop Art exploited identifiable imagery from mass media and everyday life to reflect on the nature of the world we live in. This exhibition examines the relationship between western Pop Art and its lesser-known eastern counterparts including "Sots Art" in the Soviet Union and "Political-Pop" or "Cynical Realism", which has flourished in Greater China since the turn of the twenty-first century. 

Using humour and a vernacular language, and borrowing freely from popular culture, Pop Art gave subsequent generations of artists the licence to exploit popular visual imagery and to connect with the public through the familiarity of the images being referenced. In the Former Soviet Union the abundance of imagery comparable to mass produced commodities and advertising in the West was propaganda images and text, and in Greater China visual iconography of Socialist Realism. 

Although from fundamentally different cultures and ideological backgrounds, the artists in this exhibition play with imagery from commercial advertising, propaganda posters, pictures of the famous as well as monetary and patriotic motifs in wry and provocative works that unmistakably reference the Pop Art movement which emerged in America and Britain in the 1950s and 1960s. In the Soviet Union region these works draw attention to state control, conformity, ceremony, pomp and the façade of unanimity amongst the people; in America and the UK they serve as a critique of commodity fetishism, the cult of celebrity and our mass-produced, status-driven man-made world; and in Greater China as commentary on the social dislocation created by a new super power's fascination with wealth and luxury following a period of extreme austerity.

“I was always drawn to social and informational products. I like posters, advertisements, comics, political slogans. I use the shared language of modern mass culture, addressed to an anonymous viewer… All these elements (of mass culture) are reflected in my Sots-art and pop-art works.” 

Born in 1943 
Alexander Semyonovich Kosolapov graduated from the sculptural department of the Stroganov Art School in 1969. He has worked in the realm of Sots-art since 1972, combining the visual products of the communist ideology with the products of western mass-culture in his works. In 1975 he immigrated to the US. He has taken part in many artistic exhibitions in a number of European countries and in the United States. The artist’s works have been exhibited in the world’s leading museums and private collections. The artistic forms created by Kosolapov, including “Lenin and Coca-Cola,” “Marlboro Malevich,” “Lenin Mickey Mouse,” have been widely distributed and mass produced into souvenirs and posters. 

From 1999-2000 he worked in New York and in Moscow. Kosolapov’s work, which is connected with the use of religious symbols, became cause for attacks from the Russian church organizations against the artist and the organizers of his exhibitions.

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