For the first time, the extensive exhibition combines Hogarth's greatest works with those of his contemporaries from across the continent, including Francesco Guardi in Venice, Chardin in Paris and Cornelis Troost in Amsterdam, to show cross-currents, parallels and creative similarities that transcend borders.
European society and culture changed dramatically in the mid-18th century. It was an age of change and opportunity, enlightenment and innovation, but it was also an age of materialism, exploitation and injustice. William Hogarth became famous for his paintings and prints reflecting the new modern European way of life, which he illustrated with superb authorial wit and humanity. And in this he was not alone. All over Europe artists created vivid images: rich and poor, immoral and naive, selfish and disinterested became the characters of picturesque stories that captured people's imagination and opened art from new sides.