William Hogarth, A Rake's Progress, plate 3

A Rake's Progress, plate 3, 1735

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

RA Collection: Art

Plate three of William Hogarth's set of eight engravings A Rake's Progress. As for many of Hogarth's best-known engravings, the set was based on preexisting paintings by the printmaker, painted in 1734 and now in Sir John Soane's Museum, London. The image is reversed from the painting.

The set, made as a sequel to Hogarth's Harlot's Progress, was the artist's second 'modern moral subject'. It tells the story of a young man of modest means, Tom Rakewell, coming into an inheritance and entering fashionable London life before succumbing to financial ruin and madness. This plate shows Tom (far left) feasting with prostitutes in a private room at the notorious Rose Tavern on Drury Lane, with entertainment provided by street musicians and a 'posture woman' or professional stripper (in foreground, preparing her act).

This impression is from the first state of the plate- in later states the publication date was altered from June 24 to June 25, and a portrait labelled 'PONTAC' was inserted in the top left corner, replacing the portrait of Julius Caesar with the head cut away visible here.

Object details

A Rake's Progress, plate 3
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Object type
Place of Publication

317 mm x 387 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
This image is from a book

Hogarth's prints. Vol. I. - [s.l.]: [n.d.]

Click here to view the book

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