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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Reproductions and Insight into a Bygone Age, February 4, 2000
This review is from: Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
The large size of the pages (11X14)allows the reader to appreciate the quality and detail of Hogarth's work. Beyond the artistic merit of the engravings, I have found them to be of great value in understanding England of the 1700's. As it is said, "a picture is worth a thousand words". This is especially true with Hogarth, who was as much a humorist and social commentator as he was an artist. Sean Shesgreen provides the (absolutely) necessary background and explanitory information to understand the pictures.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent all around, April 10, 2013
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This review is from: Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
Dover's edition of Hogarth's Engravings consists of 28 pages of text (preface, introduction, artist biography, plate list, bibliography), 200 pages of art with critical notes, and a 3-page index. Most, if not all, of Hogarth's best known engravings and etchings are inside, including the multi-plate series Hudibras, Harlot's Progress, Rake's Progress, Industry and Idleness, Four Stages of Cruelty, Four Prints of an Election, Before and After, Beer Street and Gin Lane, and others, for a total of 100 images (technically, more like 110, as some sketches are also included).

The image quality overall is very good. Lines are well-defined with few artifacts. Only about 10% of the images are reproduced at full size, but it's not an issue for me. As it is, the book is a rather unwieldy 11"x13.5", one of the largest in Dover's fine art series. Hogarth's original engravings are generally quite large (on average 10"x15", and up to 16" x 22"), and the average reproduction in this book is about 75% size, a fine compromise to appreciate the details.

Hogarth was a supremely talented caricaturist, who composed images much more like a painter than most modern caricaturists or political cartoonists. The full extent of his engraving abilities is apparent in his self-portraits and more close-up intimate scenes, in which his figures are remarkably lifelike. Most of his engravings are jam packed with detail from top to bottom, foreground to background. He actually tells a cogent story with room for interpretation, much removed from the typical one-note jokes and simple compositions we see in modern caricatures. His influence on Goya's etchings decades later, in terms of subject matter, humor, and technique, is readily apparent.

The engravings, especially the various series, are highly didactic. I'm tempted to be annoyed by it, but considering the realities of life in the 18th century, Hogarth's moralizing tone is understandable. Much of the art is difficult to interpret on its own, and the critical commentaries for each image are excellent and very well-researched. In any case, a modern reader is probably looking at Hogarth's work more for its historical value and artistic quality than for some 250-year-old moral instruction. However, his humor is timeless, as there are a few engravings here that literally had me rolling on the floor laughing. Even if you're not at all interested in the art, the belly laughs alone should justify the very reasonable price of the book. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, May 8, 2011
By 
G. Mosley "Itinerant" (Georgia United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
All hail the Dover Thrift!

Sean Shesgren's notes for this edition are excellent. While reading Jenny Uglow is necessary for those wanting great depth on Hogarth, Shesgren offers historical context, allegorical notes, and a biographical placement. On top of that, the Dover folks continue to give a good printing, good binding, and fabulous prints, in folio, for a great price.

Whether you know Hogarth from a hog or not, this is a book to own.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should know Hogarth, May 14, 2007
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This review is from: Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
Hogarth is the best. His rich images of the moral underbelly of London are as resonant today as they ever were. The level of draftsmanship is high. The many symbolic details are superb. The plotlines combine moral outrage with lurid vouyerism with smirking satire - Bret Easton Ellis should have spent forty years as a Hogarth scholar before attempting to write his first book. This edition is cheap and large, with commentary that is a pleasure to read. I recommend it to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good for it's price, November 11, 2012
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This review is from: Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
This book is very good. Large pictures of engravings make it possible to see every small detail. Very detailed description for every picture.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure Trove!, June 20, 2013
This review is from: Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
Place this book in the hands of people with no ability to read, and they will come away with an amazing insight into the 18th century. Hogarth engravings could replace a textbook on his times.

The size and quality of these reproductions are a delight, and the low price for such an item is absolutely astonishing. I'm on my second copy of this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in history.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very nice resource for Hogarth etchings and artwork., January 25, 2013
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This review is from: Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the book and how many illustrations there are. Dover publishers are usually very good with their art reproductions and available art instruction books and this was no exception. Great reproductions of the fine hatching and crosshatching work of a master.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, October 8, 2014
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This review is from: Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
I believe that I got what I paid for. Thank you.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engravings by Hogarth, May 2, 2014
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This review is from: Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (Paperback)
My son purchased the book: Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History... for one of his college classes. The book was as expected.
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Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)
Engravings by Hogarth (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) by William Hogarth (Paperback - June 1, 1973)
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