'Taste in High Life'


Hogarth's painting Taste in High Life, on which this engraving is based, was commissioned by a victim of the 18th-century 'fashion police'. In its satire on the clothes and behaviour of fashionable society, it exposes the use of small Black children as 'playthings', or as the ultimate accessory.

In spite of the attacks in his art on the wealthy and fashionable, Hogarth received royal patronage under both George II and George III - which gave him access to the very aristocratic circles that he satirised.


Victoria & Albert Museum F.118:129 (1746)
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