In a richly illustrated talk at Hay Festival, Jones connected the artists of today like Tracey Emin and Banksy, with the18th century painter, printmaker and social critic. By far the most significant artist of his generation Hogarth straddled both high society with his paintings, and appealed to a mass market with his prints.
Jones said Hogarth was a radical who was able to show places like London "in all its beauty and horror." Holding a mirror up to society he was able to illustrate a pessimistic attachment to the real that has become a hallmark of British art.
He claimed artists as diverse as Walter Sickert, Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon are all indebted to Hogarth. From the Enlightenment to present day British artists have shared a critical eye for confronting the world around them.
Sensations; The Story of British Art from Hogarth to Banksy.
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picture by Iga Koncka