Tuesday 20 February, 19.15–20.00 on FIVE
In this insightful documentary, Ian Hislop joins Five’s resident art expert Tim Marlow to view an exclusive preview of the landmark ‘Hogarth’ exhibition at Tate Britain. The exhibition celebrates the work of the great 18th-century satirist William Hogarth, and to coincide with its opening, this programme examines the artist’s life and work, exploring the enormous variety of life that populates his paintings and prints.
Satire is a key ingredient of both Hogarth’s art and Ian Hislop’s career. Hislop, editor of Private Eye and star of ‘Have I Got News for You’, is a long-standing admirer of Hogarth’s work, and joins Tim Marlow to view some of the artist’s greatest pieces.
The London of Hogarth’s day was a heaving mass of vice and competing virtues. His work explores themes and topics that still resonate today – among them the gap between rich and poor, the ills of crime and violence, and the role of class and politics in society. This was a time when the idea of mocking the world in an effort to reveal greater truths came into its own; it was the era when satire came of age.
As they tour the exhibition, both Tim and Ian give their own take on some of Hogarth’s iconic works, from ‘A Harlot’s Progress’ – the tragic tale of a country girl’s fall into prostitution – to his Election series, a raucous catalogue of corruption in politics. The programme also looks at the key moments in Hogarth’s life and work and assesses the impact of his career on satire today. Revealing exactly what excites them about Hogarth, Tim and Ian discuss why he should be recognised as one the greatest artists of the modern era.