A Rake's Progress  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A Rake's Progress is a series of eight paintings by William Hogarth. The canvases were produced in 1732-33 then engraved and published in print form in 1735. The series shows the decline and fall of Tom Rakewell, the spendthrift son and heir of a rich merchant, who comes to London, wastes all his money on luxurious living, whoring and gambling, and as a consequence is imprisoned in the Fleet Prison and ultimately Bedlam. The original paintings are currently in the collection of the Soane Museum in London.

Later editions

Gavin Gordon wrote a 1935 ballet titled The Rake's Progress, based directly on Hogarth's paintings. It was choreographed by Ninette de Valois, designed by Rex Whistler, has been recorded several times, and remains in the repertoires of various ballet companies.

Igor Stravinsky's 1951 opera The Rake's Progress, with a libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, is loosely based on the story from Hogarth's paintings. In 1961, David Hockney created his own print edition version of The Rake's Progress and has also created stage designs for the Stravinsky Opera.

The 1946 RKO film Bedlam, produced by Val Lewton and directed by Mark Robson, was inspired by A Rake's Progress. Hogarth received a writing credit for the film.

The UK fund manager Bedlam Asset Management used the series throughout its 2006 Annual Report and Accounts.

The University of New Hampshire's Department of Theatre and Dance created a collaborative stage show titled "The Rake's Progress" in 2003, which, with 17 actors and actresses, provided an intensive study of the etchings.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "A Rake's Progress" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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