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"Elections. Bribery of votes ”, William Hogarth - description of the painting



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Elections. Bribery of votes - William Hogarth.

Possessing the ability of a keen and observant mind, the English painter William Hogarth managed to create a genre unique for the 18th century - satirical everyday paintings. This is the time when bourgeois-capitalist relations actively penetrated into England, when the people were poor, and rivers of values ​​and wealth flowed into the hands of the unprincipled and possessive elite of society.

As a creative person, Hogarth subtly felt all the injustice of the cynical world around him and believed that he should submit his works to the audience, express his life position.

The political series “Parliamentary Elections” consists of four paintings: “Meeting with Voters”, “Bribery of Votes”, “Voting”, “Triumph of the Winning Party”. The series harshly and mercilessly ridiculed the whole rotten election system of bourgeois England, which, in general, comes down to the most ordinary fight for seats and votes.

At first glance, the painting “Bribing votes” seems to be the most peaceful and “benevolent” satire in comparison with the other three. But the author managed to reflect the exact essence of such elections - as, without disdaining any means to achieve the goal, the political elite trades in parliamentary seats in the so-called “rotten places”, which are owned by wealthy landowners, farmers, financiers.

On the street of a provincial town, agents of different standing parties bribe voters - a farmer and two townspeople on the balcony.

A sharp and clear picture of the artist emphasizes flattering poses, false-servile smiles of representatives of parties eager for power.

Aside, the observer characters, they are in no hurry, decide who would be more profitable to sell themselves, their voices. Subtle, evil, convex and expressively shown human greed, passion for profit.

The picture is very realistic, each group is beautifully painted, still lifes, the sky in the clouds, at home. Thanks to the talent of the author, the contradiction, the contrast between the harmony of nature and the imperfection of the world created by people, with its human vices in the form of meanness, flattery, thirst for power and enrichment, is felt more strongly.


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