the graham children


WILLIAM HOGARTH (1697 – 1764)
The Graham Children, 1742



The children of Daniel Graham, a pharmacist at the Chelsea hospital.

William Hogarth has introduced a tender allegorical element with the figure of Cupid. The boy counters the clock (which seems to be indicating the passing of innocent childood) with a scythe. However, regarding the position and the shape of the small instrument, this element of composition could also be viewed as the symbolization of a boyishly innocent masturbation.

(Detail 1)

(Detail 2)