A Rake's Progress, Plate 5, Married to an Old Maid

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 fifth image of the series, Rakewell continues merciless attempts to cling to his wealth. He and a wealthy old maid stand facing a member of the clergy reciting their vows in a marriage ceremony. In the background Rakewell?s former fianc�, who assists him in Arrested for Debt, weeps as Tom squanders her love and instead marries another woman for her presumable wealth.

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