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Fashions in Painting

The celebrated actor-manager David Garrick (1717-79) was one of the most frequently painted subjects in eighteenth-century Britain. Despite their close friendship, formed after Hogarth painted Garrick as the King in William Shakespeare's Richard III in 17

David Garrick with his wife Eva-Maria Veigel ©

In the eighteenth century, England made its name as a centre for the manufacture of luxury goods. Yet for the most prestigious art forms – painting and music – the fashionable elite still relied upon talent imported from the Continent. German and Italian composers and singers dominated the London opera houses. Venetian artists brought decorative figure painting and some of the greatest topographical landscapes ever painted in England. The French threatened to make inroads into the lucrative portrait market. English artists, like Wootton and Hogarth, had to struggle to close the ‘skills gap’.