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William Hogarth (1697–1764) is, after JMW Turner, perhaps the British painter most admired in Europe, though ironically he satirised the craze for Continental styles of art and tirelessly proselytised on behalf of native talent. Best known as a satirist and social commentator, it is easy to lose sight of the reality that he is a first-rate artist of international standing.

Hogarth was a Londoner, and most of his best works remain in the city of his birth and death. This unusually intense but enthralling journey enables participants to see nearly all the paintings which remain in the city.

The day begins at St Bartholomew’s Hospital with Hogarth’s only essays in large-scale history painting, the dominant tradition from which he emerged. The Pool of Bethesda and The Good Samaritan with over-life-size figures remain in their original site.

The extraordinary Sir John Soane’s Museum possesses A Rake’s Progress (8 scenes) and Election (4 scenes), and the itinerary continues to the Foundling Museum to meet its founder, Captain Coram, one of the finest of all British portraits.

The National Gallery has a third moralising series, Marriage à la Mode (6 scenes), and the enchanting Graham Children. Here we have lunch. Tate Britain possesses several genre, history, satirical scenes and portraits including Calais Gate, Self-portrait with Pug and scene from The Beggar’s Opera.

His mortal remains reside below an elaborate tomb in a churchyard beside the Thames at Chiswick. The day finishes a few minutes away with an out-of-hours visit to his country retreat which displays a selection of his engravings, a hugely influential and popular portion of his output.

For the art lover this is either one of the most frustrating days in London ever devised – several world-class museums are entered and most of their contents ignored – or it ranks as one of the most pleasurable and illuminating. The speaker, Lars Tharp, is well known as a lecturer, broadcaster and writer and was Hogarth Curator at the Foundling Museum, having been its director.


9.15am at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Smithfield.


c. 6.30pm at Hammersmith Station (District, Piccadilly, and Hammersmith and City Lines, buses and taxis).


£230, including lunch and refreshments, travel by private coach and special arrangements.

More information about London Days gift vouchers.

Group size

Maximum 15 participants.


We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.

Map: London Days.

'Fascinating itinerary – mostly new to me – I enjoyed it very much. The lecturer was delightful.'

'The lecturer is a gem. He is a dynamic extrovert. He engages his group with humour.'

'The lecturer was brilliant- no other word! Such a friendly manner and conveyed his enthusiasm for Hogarth so well.'

'Could not have been better. The right mix of academia and humour - very calm and pleasant atmosphere.'

'Excellent itinerary covering all of Hogarth's life and the area he lived and worked.'

'The lecturer was excellent. So knowledgable and very interesting and easy to listen to.'