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Six plates from a series of eight, etching and engraving, various sizes
Transferred from the reference collection 1973
The eight paintings for the series are now in Sir John Soane's Museum. They were Hogarth's second series of ‘modern moral subjects’ and were painted soon after the publication of ‘A Harlot's Progress’ in 1732. The subscription for the prints after them began in late 1733, but Hogarth delayed publication until 25 June 1735, the day the Engravers' Copyright Act became law. Even so, pirated copies had already appeared by that time. The set cost two guineas, but Hogarth had also a smaller and cheaper set, copied by Thomas Bakewell and costing 2s 6d, published soon after. The original copperplates were sold by Quaritch in 1921 and are now in a private collection. Louis Gérard Scotin (1690-after 1755) is thought to have assisted Hogarth with the engravings.
T01789 A Rake's Progress (Plate I) 1735
Etching and engraving 318×387 (12 7/16×15 11/16) on paper 465×610 (18 3/8×24); plate-mark 362×410 (14 7/16×16 1/8)
Writing-engraving ‘Invented Painted and Engrav'd by Wm. Hogarth, & Publish'd June y'. 25 1735. According to Act of Parliament Plate 1.’ and eighteen-line verse caption.
LITERATURE Paulson 1970, I, pp.158–70, no.132, II, pls.138–9
Plate 1 (third state, according to Paulson) shows Tom Rakewell coming into his inheritance and going back on his promise to marry Sarah Young, a girl he seduced while a student at Oxford.
Elizabeth Einberg and Judy Egerton, The Age of Hogarth: British Painters Born 1675-1709, Tate Gallery Collections, II, London 1988