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A Rake's Progress, Plate 4, Arrested for Debt

William Hogarth1735

SCAD Museum of Art

SCAD Museum of Art

A Rake?s Progress, a series of eight etchings by English engraver and painter William Hogarth, was printed as social commentary for the 18th-century audience. The series focuses on the demise of Tom Rakewell, the heir of a prosperous merchant, who squanders his inheritance on an extravagant lifestyle. In the fourth image of the series, Rakewell is rescued by his former fianc�, who clears him from being arrested for unpaid debts. He appears preoccupied by the events and fails to notice he is once again the victim of theft, as a young man steals the contents of his back pocket.

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