William Hogarth, InIndustry and Idleness, plate 3

InIndustry and Idleness, plate 3

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

RA Collection: Art

The third 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 idle apprentices have consequences for their 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 mostly 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 at Play in the Church Yard', shows the idle apprentice trying to make money by playing hustle-cap on the slab of an altar-tomb (Paulson believes the scene to be based on Salvator Rosa's Gambling Soldiers). The scene contrasts with the previous plate (17/3500) which shows the industrious counterpart furthering his reputation through his exemplary behaviour during a church service.

Object details

InIndustry and Idleness, plate 3
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Published by
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Object type

267 mm x 350 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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