Prior to the 1730s, English printmakers were largely overshadowed by their Continental counterparts and generally were restricted to producing book illustrations and topical political posters known as “broadsides.” However reproductive engraving flowered in the latter-18th and in the 19th centuries as commercial publishers created imagery that was intended specifically for a rising British middle class as opposed to the aristocracy. Among the works in this installation from the MMFA permanent collection will be examples by two of England’s greatest engravers: William Hogarth (1697–1764) and William Blake (1757–1827). Hogarth is represented by one of his best-known moralizing narrative series of engravings, The Harlot’s Progress, which charts the rise and fall of a young country girl who finds ultimate ruination in the urban society of 18th-century London.
Above: Photograph of the 2019 installation of the exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Support for this exhibition was provided in part by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.