The rake’s progress the rake in Bedlam (1735) by William Hogarth

The rake's progress the rake in Bedlam - William Hogarth - 1735

Artwork Information

TitleThe rake's progress the rake in Bedlam
ArtistWilliam Hogarth
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions62.5 x 75 cm (24 5/8 x 29 1/2 in)

About The rake's progress the rake in Bedlam

Plate 8 of “A Rake’s Progress” by William Hogarth depicts the protagonist Tom Rakewell being admitted to the notorious Bedlam Hospital, suffering from insanity.

Bedlam was a popular attraction for the public during the 18th century, a place where individuals with mental illness were kept in inhumane conditions for entertainment. This painting shows the decline of Tom’s social and moral well-being, leading to his downfall and admission to Bedlam.

William Hogarth’s style focused on depicting scenes of everyday life and its follies, using satire as a means of social commentary. Through “A Rake’s Progress,” Hogarth illustrated how wealth and indulgence could lead to corruption and eventual ruin.

Overall, Plate 8 serves as an example of Hogarth’s critique on society during his time, emphasizing the value of morality over excessive material possessions.

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