William Hogarth, InIndustry and Idleness, plate 2

InIndustry and Idleness, plate 2

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

RA Collection: Art

The second plate of William Hogarth's series of twelve prints Industry and Idleness, which the artist 'calculated for the use & Instruction of youth'. The set tells how the contrasting behaviours of industrious and idele apprentices lead to their divergent fortunes in later life, with each of ithe images 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 the prints only went through two 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 Industrious 'Prentice Performing the Duty of a Christian', shows a service at the church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. The industrious apprentice is singing a psalm, sharing a book with a girl who is later revealed as the daughter of his master. While his counterpart, the idle apprentice, is not present, a sleeping man on the right stands in for him as the embodiment of idleness.

Object details

InIndustry and Idleness, plate 2
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Published by
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Object type

267 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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