|An Election Entertainment, 1755, William Hogarth|
All around the two tables that serve to unite the composition, are celebrants drinking too much and thinking too little. On the wall is a slashed portrait of King George III, there is a mockery of a string quartet playing in the background, a man entertains the revelers (who are mostly too drunk to appreciate his efforts) with a scarf tied around his fist turning it into a hand puppet; and in the foreground, a political operative counts cash, the life's blood of all political endeavors. If much of the action seems to be of little consequence, it's only because time has caused it to lose its significance. The scene seems to be one straight from Fielding's "Tom Jones," which was published some five years before. In addition to his legacy of copyright legislation, William Hogarth was also responsible for paving the way for the founding of the Royal Academy of Art, thus insuring that England's artistic tradition would one day match her literary excellence.