William Hogarth, Four Prints of an Election

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Hogarth’s four great paintings, and subsequent prints, of

An Election

were initially prompted by the General Election of April 1754, and specifically the contest for seats in Oxfordshire. However, although the four paintings, and especially the first,

An Election Entertainment

, grew out of this particular contest, Hogarth expanded the series into a satire on corrupt electoral processes in Britain generally rather than one on a particular occasion, so that by the time the series was complete it included references to events after the 1754 election and outside Oxfordshire. The set of four paintings and prints forms a satire on corruption in the organisation of society at large rather than on a moral failing in an individual person. In this way they have more in common with a single…

3834 words

Citation: Gordon, Ian. "Four Prints of an Election". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 November 2003 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5072, accessed 21 May 2024.]

5072 Four Prints of an Election 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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