Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
William Hoggart

William Hoggart is one of the greatest of English artists of the 18th century. He made his name as an artist painting «conversation pieces». These little pictures were very popular in England during the 18th century. They represented members of the same family or close friends having tea, playing cards, or simply talking to one another. Hoggart said that his picture was his stage, and men and women his players».

Later two ideas came to Hoggart’s mind. One idea was to paint moral drama of life in a series of pictures. The second one was to make engravings. His first successful moral series was «The Harlot’s Progress». It showed a country girl in London.

The masterpiece of the series was the famous «Marriage à-la-mode». This set of pictures describes a marriage between the daughter of a rich man and a young lord, the son of an old Earl. The girl’s father has brought a bag full of money with him. Their children are together but apart: the young man is watching himself in the glass; the girl is listening to a young Counsellor. The pictures round the room help understand the situation. In one of the pictures Madame sits listening to the young Counsellor, whose portrait hangs in her room. Other pictures in the series show My Lord who amuses himself with a bad company. He returns home tipsy. Madame wastes her money at auctions. The end is known. My Lord attacks the Counsellor, who kills him and is executed. Moral: don’t listen to counsellors; don’t marry a man for his rank, or a woman for her money; don’t visit auctions unknown to your husband; don’t have bad friends. Otherwise you will be ruined.

Hoggart’s fame is, in fact, based on these «moral» engravings. They are full of humour. You must read them, and not look at them like other works of art. All through his life, though, Hoggart could also paint pieces of superb painting.

Topical Vocabulary

- an artist
to make one’s name as
прославиться как
to paint smth.
рисовать (красками) что-либо
«conversation pieces»
«разговорные картинки»
to represent smb.
представлять кого-либо
a stage
- to come to one’s mind
прийти в голову кому-либо
moral drama
моральная драма
a series of pictures
серия картин
an engraving
a moral series
«моральная серия»
- a masterpiece
a set of pictures
серия картин
to describe
an earl
to be together but apart
быть вместе и не вместе
to amuse oneself with a bad company
развлекаться в плохой компании
to waste one’s money at auctions
транжирить деньги на аукционах
to marry a man for his rank
выходить замуж из-за положения мужа
to marry a woman for her money
жениться из-за денег
to be ruined
погибнуть, разориться
- to be based on smth.
быть основанным на чем-либо
to be full of humour
быть полным юмора
a work of art
произведение искусства
a piece of superb painting
великолепная живопись

Answer the questions:

  1. How did Hoggart make his name as an artist?
  2. What is a conversation piece?
  3. What ideas came to Hoggart’s mind?
  4. What does the first picture of «Marriage à-la-mode» series describe?
  5. What do other pictures in this series describe?
  6. What is the moral of the series?
  7. What is Hoggart’s fame based on?

Translate into English:

  1. Хоггарт, один из величайших художников Англии, сделал имя рисуя «разговорные картинки».
  2. Люди для Хоггарта - актеры, а картина - сцена.
  3. Шедевром «моральных серий» был «Модный брак», изображающий историю брака между молодым лордом и дочерью богатого лондонца.
  4. Молодой лорд развлекается в плохой компании.
  5. Мадам транжирит деньги на аукционах.
  6. Слава Хоггарта базируется на этих «моралистских» гравюрах.