William Hogarth, Industry and Idleness, plate 12

Industry and Idleness, plate 12

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

RA Collection: Art

The final 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.

This plate, 'The Industrious 'Prentice Lord Mayor of London', is one of two plates which, as the culmination of the series, are printed in a larger format. The scene contrasts with the execution of Tom Idle in the previous plate by showing the triumph of his industrious counterpart Francis Goodchild. It shows the procession of the Lord Mayor of London moving east along Cheapside, with Goodchild inside the mayor's coach. As for the previous scene showing Idle's execution, the protagonist is hardly visible, engulfed within the crowd which Hogarth renders with painstaking care. In doing so he makes a point about the value of every one of the figures he represents.

Object details

Industry and Idleness, plate 12
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Published by
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Object type

278 mm x 407 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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