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Hogarth’s bodies
Frédéric Ogée

control and refine their passions and desires by rubbing and polishing them within the group. They could thus reach that equilibrium, that ‘happy medium’ mentioned above, which was, in effect, the ideological designation of a social space, the public sphere of the ‘middle class’, whose ­territory c­ontinued to expand by pushing the nobility and ‘the vulgar’ increasingly to the sides. Conversation painting, like Addison’s essay writing, thus appears as the visual record – and modelling – of this search for the perfect balance, as the representation of the refinement of

in Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century