The Topography of Decay

Southwark Fair
Title Southwark Fair
Artist William Hogarth
Date 1733
Medium Etching and engraving
Location Art Institute of Chicago

Hogarth recreates the cacophony of London characters vying for attention at one of the public fairs he frequented. As the crowd forges on, the urban landscape collapses into itself. The juxtaposition of the graceful drummer woman and the falling stage expresses the duality of Hogarth's affection and disdain for his city.

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