detail: William HOGARTH, Britain 1697–1764, The quarrel with her Jew protector, plate 2 from A harlot's progress, 1732, published c. 1744 (2nd edition), London, engraving on paper, 31.1 x 38.1 cm (plate), 45.0 x 57.2 cm (sheet); Morgan Thomas Bequest Fund 1969

DECENT/DESCENT

Now showing until 21 August 2014
Gallery 18
Free admission

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.

 

detail: William HOGARTH, Britain 1697–1764, The quarrel with her Jew protector, plate 2 from A harlot's progress, 1732, published c. 1744 (2nd edition), London, engraving on paper, 31.1 x 38.1 cm (plate), 45.0 x 57.2 cm (sheet); Morgan Thomas Bequest Fund 1969