Industry and Idleness, plate 10
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
RA Collection: Art
The tenth plate of William Hogarth's series of twelve prints Industry and Idleness, which the artist 'calculated for the use & Instruction of youth'. The set shows the consequences in later life of the contrasting behaviours of two apprentices in the same weaver's workshop, with each scene accompanied by scriptural passages (mostly from Proverbs). With this set Hogarth wanted to appeal to the market for popular prints rather than an exclusive, high-end audience (as in the case of Marriage A-la-Mode, published shortly before), and printed impressions on cheap paper for sale at all of London's print shops. The original plates are now in the Thomas Ross Collection, England.
In this plate, 'The Industrious 'Prentice Alderman of London, the Idle one brought before him & Impeach'd by his Accomplice', the two apprentices are brought together again for the first time since plate one (17/3499). Tom Idle, arrested for robbery in the previous plate, is brought before his former colleague Goodchild, acting as magistrate. Goodchild covers his eyes in an allusion to Blind Justice, who in order to carry out the law cannot recognize friends. In spite of the previous association between the two men, Goodchild, as the industrious apprentice, must condemn Tom Idle.
Hogarth's prints. Vol. I. - [s.l.]: [n.d.]
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