The Graham Children

The Graham Children

William Hogarth, 1742

Companion Card



William Hogarth typically painted portraits of adults. However, in this portrait of children, he painted them much the same way he did his adult portraits. There are two references to death with the cat staring at the bird, and the cupid holding a scythe on the clock. This painting was painted when the youngest of the children had already died. This could be the reason for the references to mortality.

Writing Prompts

If you and your siblings were getting a portrait painted of you, would you be able to sit still that long? Why or why not?

What would be included in your family portrait? What would it tell us about who you are? or who your family is?

Lesson Idea

Content Objective: Students will create an artwork based on the family portrait of the Graham children.

Language Objective: Students will discuss with their peers the artwork The Graham Children.

Key Vocabulary: portrait

TEKS: (4.2) - Creative Expression/Performance. The student expresses ideas through original artworks, using a variety of media with appropriate skills. The student

is expected to:

(a) integrate a variety of ideas about self, life events, family, and community in original artworks.

National Standard: 3. Content Standard: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

Achievement Standard: The Student:

b. select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning

Procedure: Explain to students what the term portrait means, and how important portraits were during this time period. Have students draw a self-portrait, step by step with you to get the correct proportions of the face. Next, have students draw their body in a style that represents them. If they like sports, maybe they have on a basketball uniform. If they want to be a singer, maybe they have a microphone in their hand. Have students think about what all they include in the portrait, and what it means to them.


Hogarth, William. The Graham Children. 1742. Wikimedia Commons. 13 December 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.,_The_Graham_Children,_Hogarth.jpg