The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

November 10, 2016

November 10, 1697

William Hogarth (November 10, 1697  to October 26, 1764) was a British painter whose prints contain narratives and busy scenes to give an often  unique glimpse into city life. Cats are often part of the bustle.  Our attention now is a busy scene in a prostitute's quarters. 

The print we link to is part of a Hogarth series titled "The Harlot's Progress." Notice the cat by the bed echoes the sexual imagery.

According to one book  
Anecdotes of William Hogarth: Written by Himself....With Essays On his Life and Genius, And Criticisms on his Works (1833):

In the following year [1731] appeared the first of those three admirable graphic Dramas which created a new epoch in the Art to which they belong, and conferred upon their author the .... appellation of a great Ethic Painter,— namely " The Harlot's Progress," "The Rake's Progress," and " Marriage-a-la-mode."

Ronald Paulson, in Hogarth's Harlot: Sacred Parody in Enlightenment England (2003), suggests that the scene is modeled upon the many annunciation scenes in art history.

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