Artists had explored the times-of-the-day theme before, but Hogarth approached it from a conceptually different angle. His comic interpretation sets these works apart from the mythological and overly moralistic renderings of Renaissance and Northern masters. These scenes are set in London and describe the day as it progresses for people of different classes, genders, and ages, all engaged in activities associated with the hour of the day. The only reference to the archetypal personification of Time is a figure of an old man holding a scythe and an hourglass in the first print. Hogarth’s ingenuity is in exactly depicting the season (winter in Morning), the time (6:55 in Morning), a representative mix of London's population (including the French immigrants in Noon), and popular locales of the day (the summer playhouse Sadler’s Wells in Evening), all tidily situated in his historical present (the equestrian statue of King Charles I (1600–1649) in Night).
caricatures; families; humor; poverty; satire; sex; sexuality; social classes; social commentary; social interaction; text; urban
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