Industry and Idleness.1. The Fellow 'Prentices at their Looms. [&] 3. The Idle 'Prentice at Play in the Church Yard, during Divine Service. [&] 4. The Industrious 'Prentice a Favourite, and entrusted by his Master. [&] 6. The Industrious 'Prentice out of his Time, & Married to his Master's Daughter. [&] 8. The Industrious 'Prentice grown rich, & Sheriff of London. [&] 10. The Industrious 'Prentice Alderman of London, the Idle one brought before him & Impeach'd by his Accomplice. [&] 11. The Idle 'Prentice Executed at Tyburn.
Working proofs before letters. Unique incomplete set of 7 engravings. Very unfinished. 190 x 280mm. 7½ x 11".
Seven of twelve morality satires by William Hogarth (1697 - 1764), charting the careers of two London apprentices. Hogarth later described the series as ‘calculated for the use & Instruction of Youth’. The ‘good’ apprentice, Francis Goodchild, and ‘bad’ apprentice, Tom Idle, are seen together in Plates 1 and 10. Throughout the rest of the series their respective ‘careers’ are compared and contrasted. The apprentices’ physical appearance is also contrasted. Goodchild’s expressions are serene and polite, his demeanour elegant and gentlemanly, while Idle’s features become increasingly contorted and grotesque, and his posture slovenly and misshapen. The first plate sees the two apprentices together in the same silk-weaving workshop in Spitalfields. Goodchild works diligently at the loom, while Idle is fast asleep. Two volumes entitled ‘The Prentices Guide’ [not etched at this time] are strategically placed, symbolising their respective attitudes to work and authority. Goodchild’s is in pristine condition, carefully propped against a thread winder but the other is soiled, ripped and discarded on the floor. The series' end sees Goodchild’s triumphal procession as Lord Mayor at the heart of the City of London, while Idle’s ignominious end is execution on the gallows at Tyburn.
iii: W122, see Paulson 170. iv: W125, see Paulson 171. vi: W124, see Paulson 173. viii: W120, see Paulson 175. x: W126, see Paulson 177. xi: W123, See Paulson 178.
[Ref: 16339] £950.00