HOGARTH, William. Engraved by T. Cook.
1. The Humours of an Election, 2. Canvasing for Votes, 3. The Polling, 4. Chairing the Member.
Set of 4 This progress, Hogarth’s last, is based on the disorderly, riotous Oxfordshire election of 1754 in which the Duke of Marlborough, a Whig (“the New Interest”), challenged the entrenched Tories (“the Old Interest”) in the established stronghold of the latter party. Aimed at the upper middle and upper classes, this series shows the cynicism of the aristocratic class toward electoral politics and delineates their attempted manipulation of the populace. It depicts politicians of both parties using slogans, flattery, bribery, alcohol, food and trinkets to expoit the population in the interests of their own undemocratic ambitions. It exposes both parties as exciting the most degrading proclivities of the least able sections of the electorate (the poor, the simpleminded, the maimed, the dying) to produce a violence and an anarchy that ultimately envelops all and threatens the very ambitions they sought to satisfy.
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Copper engraving. Uncoloured. Good condition, narrow margins. Missing titles Size: 400 x 530 mm