Saturday, 22 October 2011
Absurdity, Hogarth, and The Bathos
William Hogarth (British, 1697–1764)
The Bathos, or Manner of Sinking in Sublime Paintings, inscribed to the Dealers in Dark Pictures
Etching and engraving, 1764
The Bathos is intrinsic to the fallen world presented in satire; as society decays into chaos the world comes to an end.
William Hogarth's "THE BATHOS, or Manner of Sinking, in Sublime Paintings, Inscribed to the Dealers in Dark Pictures [...] See the manner of disgracing ye most Serious Subjects, in many celebrated Old Pictures; by introducing Low, absurd, obscene & often prophane Circumstances into them."
The poet Alexander Pope also wrote an essay on bathos.