A Rake's Progress


A Rake's Progress

"A Rake's Progress" is a series of eight paintings by 18th century English artist William Hogarth. The canvases were produced in 173233 then engraved and published in print form in 1735. The series shows the decline and fall of Tom Rakewell, the spendthrift son and heir of a rich merchant, who comes to London, wastes all his money on luxurious living, prostitution and gambling, and as a consequence is imprisoned in the Fleet Prison and ultimately Bedlam. [Bindman, David. Hogarth, Thames and Hudson, 1981. ISBN 050020182X] The original paintings are currently in the collection of the Soane Museum in London.

Depictions

*In the first painting, Tom has come into his fortune on the death of his father. While the servants mourn, he is being measured for new clothes. He is also rejecting the hand of his pregnant maid, Sarah Young, whom he had promised to marry (she is holding his ring).
*In the second painting, Tom is at his morning levée in London, attended by musicians and other hangers-on, dressed in expensive costumes. Surrounding Tom from left to right: a music master; a fencing master; a painter; a dancing master; an architect; an ex-soldier offering to be a bodyguard; a bugler of a fox hunt club. At lower right is a jockey with a silver trophy.
*A wild party or orgy is under way at a brothel in the third painting. The whores are stealing the drunken Tom's watch. Already Tom has started wasting his father's money.
*In the fourth, he narrowly escapes arrest for debt as he travels in a sedan chair to a party at St. James's Palace to celebrate Queen Caroline's birthday (Saint David's Day). On this occasion he is saved by the intervention of Sarah Young, the girl he had earlier rejected.
*In the fifth, he attempts to salvage his fortune by marrying a rich but aged and ugly old maid at St Marylebone. In the background Sarah arrives holding her child while her indignant mother struggles with a guest.
*He pleads for the assistance of the Almighty in a gambling den in the sixth painting. Neither he nor the other obsessive gamblers seem to have noticed a fire breaking out behind them.
*All is lost by the seventh painting, and he is incarcerated in a the notorious Fleet debtor's prison. He ignores the distress of his womenfolk, and demands of money from the jailers: the loss of his mind is indicated by a telescope poking out of the barred window for celestial observation, and an alchemy experiment in the background.
*Finally, he ends his days in Bethlehem Hospital (Bedlam), London's celebrated mental asylum with only Sarah Young to comfort him. Some of the details in the pictures may appear disturbing to modern eyes, but were commonplace in Hogarth's day, e.g., the fashionably dressed women in the last painting who have come to the asylum as a social occasion, to be entertained by the bizarre antics of the inmates.

Later editions

Igor Stravinsky's 1951 opera "The Rake's Progress", with a libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, is loosely based on the story from Hogarth's paintings. In 1961, David Hockney created his own print edition version of "The Rake's Progress" and has also created stage designs for the Stravinsky Opera.

The fy|1946 RKO film "Bedlam", produced by Val Lewton and directed by Mark Robson, was inspired by "A Rake's Progress". Hogarth received a writing credit for the film.

The UK fund manager Bedlam Asset Management used the series throughout its 2006 Annual Report and Accounts.

The singer Steve Hogarth of the band Marillion co-wrote a song `The Rake's Progress' as an interlude on the Holidays in Eden album, released in 1991. "I called the section (between 'This Town' and '100 Nights') 'The Rakes Progress' in reference to the famous series of lithographs by my namesake, William Hogarth... Seems pretentious but it was a joke I couldn't resist." [ [http://www.marillion.com/music/lyrics/holidays.htm#rakes Annotated lyrics (Marillion)] ]

The paintings

[Ireland, John. Hogarth Illustrated, George Routledge and Sons, 1884. London]

The engravings

ee also

*"A Harlot's Progress"
*"Marriage à-la-mode"
*"The Rake's Progress"

External links

* [http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7031 "A Rake's Progress"] at The Literary Encyclopedia
* [http://soane.org/rakesprogress.htm "A Rake's Progress"] at Sir John Soane's Museum

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • rake's progress, The —   [ȓə reɪks prəʊgres], deutsch »Der Wüstling«, Oper von I. Strawinsky, Text von W. H. Auden und Chester Kallman (* 1921, ✝ 1975) nach einer Kupferstichserie von W. Hogarth; Uraufführung 11. 9. 1951 in Venedig …   Universal-Lexikon

  • rake's progress — noun Etymology: from The Rake s Progress (1735), series of engravings by William Hogarth died 1764 English artist : a reckless course : a steady deterioration while a painful policy of deflation is being pursued in some countries, the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Rake’s Progress — a series of eight paintings (1733–5) by William Hogarth telling the story of a rake (= a fashionable young man who leads a wild and immoral life) who finally dies in Bedlam (= a hospital in London for the mentally ill). Hogarth later made the… …   Universalium

  • Rake's Progress, The — 1. a series of paintings and engravings by William Hogarth. 2. an opera (1951) by Igor Stravinsky. * * * …   Universalium

  • Rake's Progress, The — 1. a series of paintings and engravings by William Hogarth. 2. an opera (1951) by Igor Stravinsky …   Useful english dictionary

  • A Rake’s Progress — ➡ Rake’s Progress * * * …   Universalium

  • A Rake's Progress — Der Maler und sein Mops Trump A Rake’s Progress („Der Werdegang eines Wüstlings“) ist eine Serie von Gemälden und Kupferstichen des englischen Künstlers William Hogarth, entstanden zwischen 1733 und 1735. Die Originalgemälde befinden sich in Sir… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • A Rake’s Progress — Der Maler und sein Mops Trump A Rake’s Progress („Der Werdegang eines Wüstlings“) ist eine Serie von Gemälden und Kupferstichen des englischen Künstlers William Hogarth, entstanden zwischen 1733 und 1735. Die Originalgemälde befinden sich in Sir… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The Rake’s Progress — Werkdaten Titel: Der Wüstling Originaltitel: The Rake’s Progress Originalsprache: Englisch Musik: Igor Strawinski Libretto …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The Rake's Progress — Werkdaten Titel: Der Wüstling Originaltitel: The Rake’s Progress Originalsprache: Englisch Musik: Igor Strawinski Libretto: W. H. Auden und Chester …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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