William Hogarth

A Harlot's Progress, Plate IV


A Harlot's Progress is a series of six paintings and engravings by the English artist William Hogarth.  The modern moral series was first published in print form in 1732, just after an official crackdown on prostitution had begun, focused specifically on Covent Garden.  They show the story of a young woman, Moll Hackabout, who arrives in London from the country alone and and vulnerable and is tricked into prostitution by a devious brothel keeper. 

The fourth plate of the series depicts Moll Hackabout, now in Bridewell Prison, beating hemp with the other prisoners, mostly women, under the supervision of a warder holding a cane.  Moll still dressed in finery, but her spirited look has gone.  With her grand gown, she is the object of ridicule and the prison itself is a nuturer of crime with a woman behind her stealing the lace from her cap and her former maid looking on and laughing.

This print is produced on St Cuthbert's Mill special acid free archival artboard.  The overall loose print size is 33cm x 24cm.  The framed print is presented in 20mm black wood archivist moulding, complete with rope hanger over hardboard back with a cream board mount.  The overall size is 43cm x 33cm.

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