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Inscrbed: In a cartouche within the image is a quote from Leviticus Chapter XXVI. Verse 36 'The Sound of a shaken leaf, shall chace him.'

lower left: "Design'd & Engrav'd by Wm. Hogarth"
 lower centre: "Plate 7"; at lower right: "Publish'd according to Act of Parliam-t Sep. 30 1747."


This is plate 7 from the series of 12 original artworks called Industry & Idleness. Unlike his earlier works, such as A Harlot's Progress (1731) and Marriage à-la-mode (1743), which were painted first and subsequently converted to engravings, Industry and Idleness was created solely as a set of engravings.Hogarth intended the series to be a moral instruction for the young. They were sold at one shilling each (12 shillings for a set) which was considerably cheaper than his other series. With an astute head for business Hogarth was aiming perhaps at a less affluent, but much larger potential clientèle.  


The series follows the fortunes of two apprentices in London, Francis Goodlchild, the industrious apprentice and Tom Idle, the lazy apprentice. Setting out from similar social positions and potential they make their own successes and failures. The rewards of hard work and moral rectitude bear fruit for Francis while Tom seals his own fate through his moral weakness and idleness. 


In this print Tom Idle, has been disturbed by a noise from outside which frightens him. By now he has to make his living from theft and we see his bedfellow examining some of the spoils of his latest theiving exploits. Tom lives in constant fear of being apprehended, hence the bolted door, reinforced with planks of wood presumably to  deter unwelcome visitors.  As seen in a subsequent plate, Tom is betrayed by the prositute to the constable who later arrests him and he is executed for his crimes. 





The Idle 'prentice returned from sea, & in a garret with a common prostitute

SKU: 1135
  • Image Numbers: 1135
    Title: The Idle 'prentice returned from Sea & in a garret with a common prostitute.Artist and Engraver: William Hogarth

    Publisher: London: John Boydell
    Medium: Engraving and etching
    Date: 1747

    Framed size (h x w): 462 x 520mm

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