William Hogarth (10 November, 1697 – 26 October, 1764) was a major English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art. His work ranged from excellent realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects". Much of his work, though at times vicious, poked fun at contemporary politics and customs. Illustrations in such style are often referred to as "Hogarthian".
William Hogarth was born at Bartholomew Close in London on 10 November 1697 to Richard Hogarth, a poor Latin school teacher and textbook writer, and Anne Gibbons. In his youth he was apprenticed to the engraver Ellis Gamble in Leicester Fields, where he learned to engrave trade cards and similar products. Young William also took a lively interest in the street life of the metropolis and the London fairs, and amused himself by sketching the characters he saw. Around the same time, his father, who had opened an unsuccessful Latin-speaking coffee house at St John's Gate, was imprisoned for debt in Fleet Prison for five years. Hogarth never talked about the fact. By April 1720 he was an engraver in his own right, at first engraving coats of arms, shop bills, and designing plates for booksellers.
He became a member of the rather rackety Rose and Crown Club, with Peter Tillemans, George Vertue, Michael Dahl, and other artists and connoisseurs.