William Hogarth, The Rake’s Progress plate 5, The Marriage
William Hogarth (British, London 1697–1764 London) Hand Colored Engraving
A Rake’s Progress tells the story of the fictional Tom Rakewell from a series of eight paintings completed in 1733. The first series of prints were issued in 1735. This one is from the G.G. and J. Robinson edition dated 1796. The expert coloring was done undoubtedly in the first half of the 19th century or shortly after being issued.
Literature: Impoverished, but accustomed to a life of luxury and excess, Tom marries an old woman for her fortune. The shabby setting is Marylebone church, then a well-known venue for clandestine weddings on the northern fringes of London. Tom is clearly more interested in the pretty young maid than in his one-eyed bride. Two dogs (one of which has also lost an eye) present a grotesque parody of the marriage. Behind them, Sarah Young and her mother are being held back at the church door.
Good+ This has a modest crease horizontally across the bottom of the plate from the script area right to 3/4" above the bottom of the image (barely noticeable except with a raking light). Most of the other defects would not be noticeable except in a raking light.
17" X 22" sheet size, 14" X 16.75"