William Hogarth, Industry and Idleness, plate 5

Industry and Idleness, plate 5

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

RA Collection: Art

The fifth 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. (This may be one reason why most of the prints went through only two or three states, as opposed to the various states of Marriage A-la-Mode which carried varying levels of desirability. The original plates are now in the Thomas Ross Collection, England.

This plate, 'The Idle 'Prentice Turned Away and Sent to Sea', shows the idle apprentice Tom Idle going to work at sea, having forfeited his indentures by misconduct. The gallows and cat-o-nine-tails in the image suggest what might lay in store for him.

Object details

Industry and Idleness, plate 5
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Published by
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Object type

269 mm x 351 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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