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Englishness in the mirror

The audiences flocking to the Hogarth exhibition at Tate Britain are there not just to admire the work of a uniquely gifted satirist, but also to discover what Englishness means

By Paul Barker   April 2007

Hogarth at Tate Britain (7th February—29th April, £10)

Elbowing your way into the Hogarth exhibition at Tate Britain is like squeezing into an Arsenal match when they’re playing Tottenham at home. By the time it closes on 29th April, this will be one of Tate Britain’s most successful shows. Since Tate Modern was launched in 2000, its Millbank cousin has often felt like a poor relation. But not this time. Opening hours have been extended, and the crowds make it hard to scrutinise the small print—and there’s a lot of it—on Hogarth’s much-loved paintings.

Apparently, visitors are spending twice as…

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