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William Hogarth (1697-1764)

The Bad Taste of the Town (Masquerades and Operas) 1724

RCIN 811358

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This print ridicules the ‘reigning follies’ of fashionable London. Hogarth believed foreign art was wrongly encouraged at the expense of British talent. Here he enters the debate on aesthetics between Sir James Thornhill and the circle around Lord Burlington. The latter’s preference for Italianate design is parodied in an ‘Accademy of Arts’ presided over by Michelangelo and Raphael as well as Burlington’s protégé William Kent. Purchased by Queen Victoria in 1845 Cat. 76