Hogarth:  Genre Scenes and Moralizing Art in the 1700's: 2
The Rakes Progress c1790
Plate 1 #1- (left) Social climber Tom Rakewell has just come into his fathers money. His father was a miser who is now dead. John was educated but learned nothing about the way the real world works. His dad the miser would hide things. In the picture he is breaking up with his girlfriend. At the lower left there is a bible. The leather from the bible was used to resole his father's shoe. Meanwhile the house accountant is ripping him off but he's too busy to notice.

2 A Visit By Apprentices or Tutors

* He has gain entry into the better half of society. He has been received and is being asked to make donations. In the background there is a painting of The Judgment of Paris.

Plate 2
Plate 3 Scene #3 The Orgy

* Tom goes off with prostitutes and has an orgy. He is drunk and high on opium. Women/Prostitutes are picking his pockets. Pictures of great philosophers are above his head and looking down on him. A mirror is broken in this scene.

Scene #4 ?

*Tom is in trouble. He's out of reason and out of money. He has been stopped by debtors. His old girlfriend who he dumped earlier bails him out.


Plate 4
Plate 5 Scene #5 ?

*Tom marries an old crone because he ran out of money. In the slide her kids are also taking her money. Priest in this slide is not moral and is probably being paid large sums of money for marrying them.

Scene #6

*Tom has lost all his wifes money gambling and is on the floor in despair.  He has lost his dignity as well and tears the wig from his head. A fire burns unnoticed and out of control in the background which symbolizes his state of mental, moral and financial affairs.

Plate 6
Plate 7 Scene#6 ?

* Tom is in debtor prison.  In the background an alchemist attempts to create gold out of base elements which is also a metaphor for Tom's life.

Scene #7

*Tom ends up insane in a mental hospital called "Bedlam."

Plate 8