Now showing until May 2014
Decent/descent presents the work of satirical artist William Hogarth, whose prints examine the moral decline of eighteenth-century British society. A Harlot’s Progress, 1732, narrates the story of Moll Hackabout, a young woman who arrives in London from the country to work as a seamstress or servant but is soon corrupted by her devious employers.
Hogarth references figures from his day, including a well-known brothel madam, and local judge. The artist’s sympathies lie neither with the prostitutes nor the law-makers, but rather syphilis is used as a symbol for societal corruption at large.
Decent/descent features six engravings from A Harlot’s Progress and a plate from Hogarth’s later series Marriage à la mode, all drawn from the permanent collection.
Curator talk: Alice Clanachan, Assistant Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs will speak about Decent/descent on Tuesday 25 February, 12.30pm.