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William Hogarth, 1697–1764

The Five Orders of Perriwigs

Categorizing perriwigs in orders similar to the five orders of classical columns, Hogarth satirizes the aristocracy who wore them. At the time, during the 18th century, it was popularly believed that laws of composition and models of beauty could be constructed by measuring classical statues and architecture. A scale on the left hand side shows the ‘Athenian Measure’ used to measure the wigs; component parts of each wig are labeled with letters A to I, each denoting a mock architectural term.

Dimensions Unframed, 36.3 x 24 cm
Framed, 58.5 x 43 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Donation, Madden / Arnholz Collection, 1989
Item NumberIMMA.2086
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
William Hogarth, The Five Orders of Perriwigs, Engraving, Unframed, 36.3 x 24 cm|Framed, 58.5 x 43 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Donation, Madden / Arnholz Collection, 1989

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

William Hogarth 1697–1764

English artist William Hogarth attended Sir James Thornhill’s then recently opened art school. He worked in designing plates for booksellers until he began producing work on his own account. Hogarth first achieved financial success with his series A Harlot’s Progress in 1732. He helped found St. Martin’s Lane Academy, an important forerunner to the Royal Academy in 1735. His investigation into the aesthetic principles of art, Analysis of Beauty, was published in 1753.

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