18th century art

Ignore the wall text and focus on the magnificent paintings: Tate Britain’s Hogarth and Europe reviewed

There are, perhaps, two types of exhibition visitor. Those who read the texts on the walls and those who don’t. Personally, I instinctively tend towards the latter group, which is no doubt often my loss. In the case of Hogarth and Europe at Tate Britain, however, ignoring all the verbiage would be a huge advantage. This concentrates with anxious obsessiveness on the topics of empire and slavery (with a little condemnation of sexism on the side) and has infuriated several of my colleagues: ‘wokeish drivel’ (Sunday Times), ‘non-aperçus — which range from the crass to the asinine’ (New Statesman), ‘some quite drastic misreadings’ (Observer). Well, I’m not going to dissent