William Hogarth (1697-1764) who was born into a humble family went on to become a great painter, engraver and satirist and is remembered today as the ‘Father of British Painting’.
He hated injustice and would use his art to draw attention to the issues he cared about. Hogarth highlighted not only poverty but political corruption, moral depravity and cruelty to animals. He was also active in tackling the issues he hated about serving as a founder Governor of the Foundling Hospital and producing two of his most famous works, Beer Street and Gin Lane as part of a campaign to reform laws on gin production. Hogarth was also involved in promoting the first copyright legislation for artists in 1735.
Hogarth bought his house in Chiswick in 1749. The house was then a country home away from his busy Leicester Fields (now Leicester Square) home. The house was extended and became a home. Pets were buried in one corner of the garden and Hogarth had a studio above the now lost coach house at the bottom of the garden.
After Hogarth’s death in 1764 his widow Jane continued to live at the house and, with her cousin Mary Lewis, ran a print-selling business of her late husband’s works. Mary would inherit the house from Jane and stay here until she passed away in 1808.