THE RAKES PROGRESS - SET OF 8 (1830)

THE RAKES PROGRESS - SET OF 8 (1830)
THE RAKES PROGRESS - SET OF 8 (1830)
THE RAKES PROGRESS - SET OF 8 (1830)
THE RAKES PROGRESS - SET OF 8 (1830)
THE RAKES PROGRESS - SET OF 8 (1830)
THE RAKES PROGRESS - SET OF 8 (1830)
THE RAKES PROGRESS - SET OF 8 (1830)
THE RAKES PROGRESS - SET OF 8 (1830)

Set of 8 original antique steel engravings
Engraved by T.S. Engleheart after Hogarth
Published by Jones & Co., London, 1830
Mounted in white

Plate 1

Tom has come into his fortune on the death of his miserly father. While the servants mourn, he is being measured for new clothes. He is also rejecting the hand of his pregnant fiancee, Sarah Young, whom he had promised to marry (she is holding his ring and her mother is holding his love letters). He will pay her off, but it is clear that she still loves him.

Plate 2

Tom is at his morning levee in London, attended by musicians and other hangers-on all dressed in expensive costumes. Surrounding Tom from left to right: a music master at a harpsichord; a fencing master; a quarterstaff instructor; a dancing master with a violin; a landscape architect; an ex-soldier offering to be a bodyguard; a bugler of a fox hunt club. At lower right is a jockey with a silver trophy. The instructor looks disapprovingly on both the fencing and dancing masters. Both masters appear to be in the French style, which was a subject Hogarth loathed

Plate 3

The third plate depicts a wild party or orgy under way at a brothel. The whores are stealing the drunken Toms watch. On the floor is a night watchmans staff and lantern. The scene takes place at the Rose Tavern a famous brother in Covent Garden. The prostitutes have black spots on their faces to cover syphilitic sores.

Plate 4

In the fourth, he narrowly escapes arrest for debt by Welsh bailiffs (ie. Leeks, A Welsh Emblem, in their hats) as he travels in a sedan chair to a party at St. Jamess Palace to celebrate Queen Carolines birthday on Saint Davids Day (Saint David is the patron saint of Wales). On this occasion he is saved by the intervention of Sarah Young, the girl he had earlier rejected. She is apparently a dealer in millinery. In comic relief, a man filling a street lantern spills the oil on Toms head. This is a sly reference to how blessings on a person were accompanied by oil poured on the head. In this case the blessing being the saving of Tom by Sarah, although Rakewell, being a rake, will not take the moral lesson to heart. In the engraved version, lighting flashes in the sky and a young pickpocket has just emptied Toms pocket. The painting, however, shows the young thief stealing Toms cane and has no lighting.

Plate 5

In the fifth, Tom attempts to salvage his fortune by marrying a rich but aged old Maid at St Marylebone. In the background Sarah arrives holding their child while her indignant mother struggles with a guest

Plate 6

The sixth painting shows Tom pleading for the assistance of the Almighty in a gambling den at Sohos White Club after losing his new fortune. Neither he nor the other obsessive gamblers seem to have noticed a fire breaking out behind them.

Plate 7

All is lost and Tom is incarcerated in the notorious Fleet debtors prison. He ignores the distress of both his angry new (old) wife and faithful Sarah, who cannot help him this time. Both the beer boy and the jailer demand money from him. Tom begins to go mad, as indicated by both a telescope for celestial observation poking out of the barred window and an alchemy experiment in the background. Besides Tom is a rejected play, another inmate is writing a pamphlet on how to solve the National debt. Above the bed at right is an apparatus for wings.

Plate 8

Finally insane and violent, in the eighth painting he ends his days in Bethlehem Hospital (Bedlam), Londons celebrated mental asylum. Only Sarah Young is there to comfort him, but Rakewell continues to ignore her. While some of the details in these pictures may appear disturbing to modern eyes, they were commonplace in Hogarths day. For example, the fashionably dressed women in this last paining have come to the asylum as a social occasion, to be entertained by the bizarre antics of the inmates.

Image sizes: 15 x 12cm
Mounted sizes: 30 x 32cm

Set price: £200.00
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