William Hogarth, A Rake's Progress, plate 8

A Rake's Progress, plate 8, 1735

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

RA Collection: Art

The last plate in 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. In this plate Tom is in Bedlam (the Royal Bethlehem Hospital), having been committed after losing his mind. Tom's pose is based on Caius Gabriel Cibber's sculpture Raving Madness (c.1675) which surmounted the hospital's entrance gates. Sarah Young, mother of Tom's child, is in attendance, holding his arm.

This impression is of the second state of the print- the third (and final) state was issued by Hogarth in 1763 after he had made additional changes.

Object details

A Rake's Progress, plate 8
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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