Past Exhibitions

Hockney and Hogarth: The Rake’s Progress

26 March - 31 August 1997

Painting 3. The Orgy, from The Rake's Progress by William Hogarth

This exhibition brings together two masterpieces of English graphic art separated by two centuries but united by a common theme: The Rake's Progress.

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764) painter, engraver and satirist produced a series of eight oil paintings entitled The Rake's Progress. It is now in the collection of the Sir John Soane's Museum, London. The paintings were turned into engravings and published as prints in 1735 to reach the widest audience possible. Hogarth's The Rake's Progress is an uncompromising commentary on the vice, corruption and social injustices of 18th century life in London. In Hogarth's version, a young merchant's son who squanders his father's inheritance, falls from fashionable foppery into debt, debauchery and finally dies in a madhouse.

David Hockney (born 1937) borrows Hogarth's theme to show the gay scene in America in the 1960s.