Inspiring till today
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). The Rake’s Progress. Set of 8 sheet steel engravings. C. 1840. 5-5½ × 5¾-6⅛ in (12.8-14 × 14.7-15.7 cm).
The Rake’s Progress. – With title in German, partially also in English, here and there with plate number.
The Young Heir taking Possession – Surrounded by Artists and Professors – The Tavern Scene – Arrested for Debt – Marries an Old Maid – Scene in a Gaming House – Prison Scene – Scene in a Madhouse .
“ Contrary to A Harlot’s Progress here Hogarth introduces a constructive female principle in the person of Sarah Young that plays a role in five of the eight sheets …
“ Rakewell and Sarah Young both appear in the first and, in quite different circumstances, in the last scene of this cycle. While Rake was the strong one at the beginning, so now it is Sarah weeping again. She is the only one who firmly stood to him in all difficulties of life. The two promenading ladies on the other hand represent that class for which Rake sacrificed everything – money, love, honour, freedom, and finally the mind, too. It is this that scoffs at him on this last plate.
“ A Rake’s Progress had fertilizing consequences till into the 20th century. In 1951 Igor Strawinsky was inspired … by it for his opera The Rake’s Progress. David Hockney (1963) and Alfred Hrdlicka (1970-71) also created a Rake cycle ”
(Hogarth Catalogue Zurich 1983).
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