The Art and Where to Find It

The Graham Children

Artist: William Hogarth

Year: 1742

Location: Entrance to Centenary Market Hall. The original is on display at The National Gallery, London.

A oil on canvas life-size group portrait showing the children of a Dr and Mrs Daniel Graham who lived in Pall Mall in central London. Dr Graham was apothecary to the King - George II, and also had recently been appointed apothecary to Chelsea Hospital. It is Hogarth's most ambitious portrait of children and includes detailed objects including a caged bullfinch, a bird organ, a cat, fruit, carnations, an elaborate go cart and paintings on the back wall. Although each child seems happy, vivacious and full of life, the baby Thomas died before the painting was completed. The clock on the mantelpiece is decorated with the figure of Cupid holding a scythe and standing beside an hour-glass, both symbols of death. William Hogarth, The Graham Children Copyright The National Gallery, London.