|Canvassing for Votes, William Hogarth, 1754, The Sir John Soane Museum, London|
Peering out from the doorway on the left is a soldier whose purpose is to represent uncorrupted patriotism. In front of him the British lion is devouring the fleur-de-lis of France. At the table on the right two old men, possibly sailors, are arguing about the Battle of Portobello in which the British fought the Spanish in Panama.
In the background a violent mob from one party are trying to destroy the headquarters of their rivals. A humorous note is the man sawing off the pub-sign unaware that he will fall when it does! Hogarth was an adequate and competent artist but this painting was made for satirical purposes exposing bribery & corruption and mob violence.
This series of oil paintings are on a massive scale, measuring five by seven feet; this really elevates them to the genre of 'History Painting'.