- Original design
- Unknown, 1715
The 2018 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2019 programme mid-August.
Hogarth bought the house to act as his family’s country refuge, a weekend and summer home, away from the noise of his other home in what is now Leicester Square.
The Hogarths extended the house and enjoyed the fruit trees and nut walk in the walled garden. Stepping through the gate you will see the ancient mulberry tree – the Hogarths are said to have made mulberry pies for the Foundling children who stayed with them.
Hogarth had a ‘painting room’ at the bottom of the garden where he was working until a few days before his death.
The restoration project steering group from the William Hogarth Trust has undertaken extensive research into the history of the Grade I listed house and its occupants. This provides the information for the new displays.
Hogarth was born near Smithfield Market in London. His childhood was blighted by his father's imprisonment for debt.
Apprenticed to a silver engraver, this gave him skills which he later adapted to produce prints and to teach himself to paint. Hogarth was a shrewd businessman as well as an artist. He sold his prints at relatively modest prices, thus reaching a much wider audience than those who could afford his paintings.
He became prosperous enough to take on this house in Chiswick and extend it, adding the projecting Venetian-style oriel window on the first floor (an identical window appears in one of Hogarth's prints, The Times).
Hogarth's fame rests in particular on his series of pictures telling stories with contemporary real-life settings, his 'modern moral subjects' such as A Harlot's Progress, A Rake's Progress and Marriage-a-la-Mode. These began as paintings full of detail, theatrical in style and showing the follies and foibles of humanity which he displayed to an enthusiastic audience, taking orders in advance for his engravings of the same images.
These were so successful that pirated copies were produced by other engravers and Hogarth campaigned successfully for the first copyright legislation in 1735 to protect the work of artists.
His pictures are among the best-known visual representations of everyday life in Georgian London and Hogarth has been hailed as the "defining spirit of London's art".
Hogarth's talents and interests were wide-ranging, and displays in the house tell the story of his life and works. He hated injustice, snobbery and pretension, and deplored the degradation suffered by the poor.
One of his best-known images, Gin Lane, has come to represent the worst aspects of slum life in 18th century London; its lesser-known counterpart, Beer Street, shows the peace and prosperity which might result if beer, rather than gin, became the staple drink of the poor.
Hogarth was a key supporter of Captain Coram's new Foundling Hospital for orphaned and abandoned children, which effectively became London's first public art gallery through his efforts – with donations from its fashionable visitors helping to support the institution. In an era when few people concerned themselves with such things, he also felt strongly about the maltreatment of animals, and drew attention to this issue in his prints The Four Stages of Cruelty.
Hogarth’s House holds an extensive collection of the artist’s 18th century prints, of which a selection will always be on display and a set of his engraving plates.
The panelled rooms also house some replica pieces of 18th century furniture. These were commissioned from the Chiswick Art-Workers' Guild by Lieutenant-Colonel Shipway, who rescued the house and opened it to the public as a museum to Hogarth in 1904. The Gallery in the former kitchen wing will show an exciting new programme of exhibitions.
Shipway gave the house to Middlesex County Council in 1909 and ownership passed in 1965 to Hounslow Council. The house was refurbished in 1996-97 to mark the tercentenery of Hogarth's birth.
Hogarth's tomb with its inscription by his friend, the great actor, David Garrick, lies a short walk from the house in St Nicholas' churchyard, next to the River Thames. A statue of Hogarth and his pug dog by Jim Mathieson was unveiled in 2001 opposite the junction of Chiswick High Road and Turnham Green Terrace, on the route between Hogarth's House and its closest underground station (Turnham Green).
We are part of the artist’s studio museum network [www.artiststudiomuseum.org], a European network of artist’s studio museums.