English painting

"Elections. Voting", William Hogarth - description of the picture

  • Author: William Hogarth
  • Museum: British museum
  • Year: 1754-1758
  • Click image for larger version

Description of the picture:

Elections. Voting - William Hogarth.

This series presents four pictures that show all stages of parliamentary elections. The goal of Hogarth was to show the struggle of the parties, the bribery of votes and the entire injustice of the elections. We will consider the picture "Voting".
The whole picture is made in dark colors, which immediately suggests the idea that nothing good is shown on it. After we peer, we can see something vigorously discussing the crowd. People are jostling, shouting at each other (judging by their faces), this indicates the lack of organization of this event. The atmosphere is unpleasant, heated.
Now let's take a look at the main characters. In the very center of the picture are two men who are tensely looking at the third, the man on the left is whispering something in his ear. If we look closely at the person sitting between them, we will see that it is unnaturally distorted, hands are also twisted. It can be concluded that he is sick. Behind the old woman who can not stand on her feet, she, too, was brought to a vote. The sick and the mad bribe them to vote for a certain candidate.
On the right we see four men, they are clearly unfriendly disposed towards each other, as their faces express anger and tension. The man in red is trying to push the one who counts votes to influence the outcome of the vote. The other two behind (most likely candidates) argue about who has the most votes. Candidates are ready to do anything to win the election.
On the left is a broken wagon. The woman inside her is wealthy, we can assume that she is an influential person. Most likely, this failure was arranged by one of the competitors, which, again, speaks of the dishonesty of the elections.
There are many nuances in this picture, and in order to understand it, you need to stare for a long time. Every detail plays its role and makes the picture holistic.

Other paintings by William Hogarth

Four times of day
Girl with shrimp
Sigismund
Portrait of Thomas Coram
Elections. Meeting with voters
Elections. Vote buying
Elections. Triumph of the winning party

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