We sit down with artist, Bouke de Vries, in an exploration of William Hogarth's series of satirical paintings, present at the Soane Museum in London alongside Bouke's ceramic interpretation. The Summer Season at Sotheby's London features another stellar piece by Hogarth, being offered in the Old Master & 19th Century Paintings Evening Auction on 5 July.
Taste in High Life is an exceptional work and the last major satirical painting by Hogarth left in private hands. Commissioned in 1742 by one of the artist’s major patrons, Mary Edwards (1705–1743) – the richest woman in England – it is a tour de force of satirical wit and social caricature, and a forerunner to one of the artist’s most celebrated series, Marriage à-la-Mode (National Gallery, London), painted the following year. Indeed, it deals with many of the same issues, lampooning high society and ridiculing what Hogarth saw as the dandified aristocracy for the ridiculousness of their obsession with foreign fashions and imported luxuries. Preserved in exceptional condition, it is the first significant painting by William Hogarth – perhaps the first great English artist – to have appeared for sale on the open market for half a century.