Rake's Progress III

Rake's Progress III

Date: 1820
Dimensions:
350 x 404 mm
Medium: Etching and engraving
Object number: PT2095.2
DescriptionA Rake's Progress Plate III The Tavern Scene
Craddock & Baldwin edition 1820
1735. Etching and Engraving. 35.2 x 41.0 cm
Engraver: William Hogarth (1697-1764)
Below Plate: Invented, Painted, Engrav'd & Publish'd by Wm. Hogarth June ye 25, 1735. According to Act of Parliament Plate.3.
A later printing by Craddock & Baldwin
Poulson 134
PT2095.2
In this scene, we see Tom at end of a night of drinking and fighting. He is in the Rose Tavern, in Covent Garden, a well known brothel in Hogarth's time. Tom is again surrounded by people who seek to take his money. At first sight it may look like a scene of fun and harmless drunkenness but the details in the engraving illustrate the utter squalor that Tom has found himself in.
A prostitute who probably has syphilis as indicated by the black spots on her face, slips her hand under Tom's shirt and steals his fob watch and gives to another woman seated behind him.
A box of tablets near Tom's chair is a suggestion that he may have already caught syphilis and is taking medication.
An upturned chamber pot is on the floor, its contents spilling over a dish of roast chicken.
The woman undressing is about to perform an obscene dance on the large platter being carried into the room by a waiter, next to him a pregnant street singer is performing a bawdy song called "Black Joke".
A woman can be seen spitting at another woman across the table from her.
In the row of portraits of Roman emperors hanging below the ceiling, only the picture of Nero has not been defaced. The woman in the background holding the candlestick is about to set fire the to a map of the world hung on the wall. In this engraving Hogarth portrays both a Chinese man fondling a prostitute and African prostitute looking over the shoulder of another woman. Hogarth was amongst the few artists at the time to portray ethnic minority Londoners in his paintings and engravings.