J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chumly Children

Some adult in the Cholmondeley (originally Malpas) family here needs to be watching the boy on the right. I know the grownups are busy having their portrait painted, but that leaves only the other boy on the alert, and he’s just egging his little brother on. Soon there will be tears.

This 1732 painting is from the Tate Britain museum’s current exhibition on William Hogarth (1697-1764), the English painter, engraver, and leader of the art world. The best way to visit the exhibit from afar seems to be through the Room by Room guide. When not traveling to museums this painting’s on display in Houghton Hall, the stately home of the Marquess of Cholmondeley.

For two of Hogarth’s famous satirical sequences, first painted and then rendered in best-selling engravings, check out Sir John Soane’s Museum. In fact, check out that wonderful museum anyway—especially if you’re in London.

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