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William Hogarth with Martin Rowson - 32 Londoners 2014

Martin Rowson on WILLIAM HOGARTH - Satirist, b. 1697, Clerkenwell

On May the 1st 2014, the EDF Energy London Eye hosted a unique event where each of its 32 capsules was given over to a talk by a well-known authority on a famous Londoner. To commemorate the occasion, this podcast series has been made of all the talks.

William Hogarth is recognised today as the grandfather of the political cartoon, the first practitioner to elevate visual satire to the level of art. Working as an engraver and painter Hogarth specialised in portraying the city of London and its inhabitants: the poor, the rich, the pretentious, the fashionable and the ludicrous. One of his most famous prints, Gin Lane, depicts a contemporary news story about a woman who had murdered her infant daughter in order to sell her clothes to buy gin. It exposes some of the worst facets of early Georgian London and established Hogarth as the capital's first urban artist.

The publication of The Harlot’s Progress brought Hogarth lasting fame and wealth. He was appointed Sergeant painter to the King and was responsible for pushing the first Copyright Act through Parliament, largely to protect his own business interests and influence.

Martin Rowson is an award-winning cartoonist and writer whose work appears regularly in The Guardian, The Daily Mirror, The Morning Star, The Spectator & many other publications. In 2001 he was appointed Ken Livingstone's "Cartoonist Laureate" for London, in exchange for 1 pint of London Pride bitter per annum (still 6 years in arrears). He's also a fomer vice-President of the Zoological Society of London.