Fundraising for memorial stones for Hogarth’s pets

The Hogarth Trust has just published a crowdfunding page to raise £2,205 to pay for memorial stones for some of William Hogarth’s family pets in the garden of the artist’s home beside  the A4. Hogarth was fond of animals and his pet pugs often appear in his pictures.

Well known for his series of paintings such as ‘The Harlot’s Progress’ and ‘The Rake’s Progress’, Hogarth is known as a political satirist as much as he is as a painter. The house in Chiswick was his second home, where he lived with his family from 1749-1764 (his main home and studio being in Leicester Fields, which is now Leicester Square). After his death, members of the Hogarth family lived on in the house until 1808 and it has been very well preserved for our generation to enjoy.

The Hogarth Trust is in the process of refurbishing the garden, creating a completely modern garden which will also double as an exhibition relating to both the history of the house and its occupants and to the history of Chiswick as a market gardening area. The house has been closed throughout March and is due to reopen to the public, but work will continue on the garden until late summer / early autumn.

Images of the house and garden and sketch for the pet memorials courtesy of the Hogarth Trust
Self-portrait of Hogarth ‘Painter and his Pug’, Tate Gallery collection 

Dick the Drake and Pompey the Dog

There were memorials in the garden to Dick the drake and Pompey the dog until at least 1850 but they have long since disappeared. Dick may have lived with a small flock of ducks laying eggs for the Hogarths. Pompey was probably named after the canine hero of a best-selling 18th century satirical novel “The History of Pompey the Little, or the Life and Adventure of a Lap-Dog”. Historians aren’t sure if he really was a lapdog or whether this was an ironic reference for a pug dog, the pugnacious breed so beloved by the artist.

If you would like to contribute to the creation of new memorial stones, you can do so on the crowdfunding page here.

According to the Trust: ‘The new garden will provide a high quality setting for the House, telling the whole story of the site from its origins as a 1680s orchard through life as a domestic garden and a nursery, and incorporating Hogarth’s theories of art, such as his scrolling Line of Beauty, in planting and design features. Lost elements are being re-created including a skittle alley, a nut-walk and the pet memorials’.

Val Bott MBE MA FMA, museum consultant & historian, says when the garden is finished the information panels and trails will enable people to understand it as a living exhibition as well as a beautiful and peaceful place to sit. Once two new members of staff have been appointed to run the garden, they will be looking for volunteers to keep it looking good.

See also The Chiswick Calendar’s videos of The Hogarth House Election exhibition, 2015 and Hogarth House Mulberry Soda.