William Hogarth, who was born in 1697 in London, painted ‘The Bruiser’ in 1763. The painting is an engraving measuring 14 13/16 x 10 5/8 inches (37.7 x 27 cm), and it makes use of satire, which Hogarth employed often in many of his works. The painting depicts a scene featuring seven characters; the main protagonist being a bruised pugilist (boxer). This theme was likely influenced by John Wilkes, Esq. – another painting created by Hogarth at the same time in 1763 – which similarly showcases the struggles between various pugilists involved in illegal bare-knuckle bouts.
Whilst this scene is not as remarkable as other works by William Hogarth, ‘The Bruiser’ still speaks to the enduring influence of art during a tumultuous period of history. Through this satirical artwork, Hogarth was able to captivate his audience with creative imagery and provide commentary about the culture surrounding them. Similarly, John Wilkes, Esq. is another work that represented a similar message about life during that epoch for the viewers of 1700s England.