Monday, 3 November 2008, 12:00AM

High politics and Hellfire: William Hogarth

Robin Simon FSA

Infamous rake (and Chancellor of the Exchequer), Sir Francis Dashwood was the founder of the Hellfire Club whose avowed flouting of all moral and sexual decency and the deliberate offending of religion brought about inevitable public outcry. It was for this reason that William Hogarth painted Sir Francis Dashwood at his Devotions, portraying the aristocratic libertine in the posture of St Francis at prayer, replacing the Bible with a copy of an erotic novel and placing a naked woman as the supposed image of his concentration. This clearly scandalous and offensive portrait of his friend was perhaps the perfect depiction of the founder of a club so forcefully (and playfully) out to shock the public.

Robin Simon, editor of The British Art Journal, will speak on the portrait, the men involved and the world of 18th Century London in which such strange things could occur.

robin-simon-fsa

Editor of the British Art Journal

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3 November 2008

High politics and Hellfire: William Hogarth
Robin Simon FSA

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