Arts: This Was The Week That Was

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The Independent Culture
Today

On this day in 1764 William Hogarth died, leaving behind The Rake's Progress - but not A Harlot's Progress, which was destroyed in a fire. Since his early work was as bootlegged as a Grateful Dead concert, he promoted a law protecting copyright, still known as "Hogarth's Act".

Tomorrow

Niccol Paganini, the demon violinist said to be in league with Beelzebub on account of his devilish technique, was born in 1782; he could cut off a couple of strings in mid-performance - and carry on regardless.

Wednesday

Francis Bacon was born in 1909; his life, like the film Love is the Devil, was Certificate 18, but in 1989 that didn't stop one of his paintings achieving the highest price for a living British artist: $6.27m, in New York.

Thursday

Don Giovanni was first performed in Prague in 1787. Mozart's philandering hero was carted off to hell by a moving statue, although these days retribution would be left to the Starr Report.

Friday

In 1938 gullible Americans fled from a fictitious Martian invasion, thanks to Orson Welles's 1938 radio version of The War of the Worlds by HG Wells, which was convincingly presented as a news story; 60 years later, they all think they've been abducted anyway.

Saturday

A great meeting of literary minds - and bodies - took place in 1924 when Ford Madox Ford (The Good Soldier) began an affair with Jean Rhys (Wide Sargasso Sea). In 1964 the Windmill Theatre near Piccadilly Circus - slogan, "We Never Closed" - closed.

Sunday

The painter of sticklike characters, LS Lowry, was born in 1887, in what was, in pre-Thatcher days, an industrial landscape. Until retirement, he never gave up his day job as a rent collector and chief cashier.

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