The First Bohemians: Grime, Crime and Art Sublime

View the floorplan

The First Bohemians: Grime, Crime and Art Sublime

Date and time

Tuesday 15 April, 1–1.45pm

Sainsbury Wing Theatre

Vic Gatrell

  • Share this page

Vic Gatrell discusses how the sleaze, vitality, and intimacy of 18th-century Covent Garden turned that district into the most creative 'bohemia' the country has ever known. The artists and writers who lived, competed, and conducted their energetic drinking and sex lives there turned it into the space in which the primary expressions of Georgian art and literature were hatched. In the works of Hogarth, Sandby, Rowlandson and others the depiction of 'real life' challenged the classical pretensions of 'high' Academic art, and significantly democratised British taste.

Vic Gatrell

Vic Gatrell is the author of the Wolfson Prize-winning 'City of Laughter: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London', and has just published 'The First Bohemians: Life and Art in London's Golden Age'. He is a Life Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Lunchtime talks

Focus in on one painting with our talks in the Gallery, or explore wider themes in the collection at our in-depth theatre talks.

Image above: Detail from William Hogarth, 'Marriage A-la-Mode: 6, The Lady's Death', about 1743