Last Station before the Debtor’s Prison

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Near-Arrest for Debt. It is March 1st, birthday of Queen Caroline, spouse of George II, and Rakewell is on his way to St. James’s. What does not keep the beadles of the law from stopping his sedan in the open street and presenting to the getting out Rakewell the arrest order – but for this time the purse of Sarah Young, the disgracefully left former mistress, still helps. On the left side in the background St. James’s Palace and White’s Coffeehouse, in front of which several further sedans. On the left a welshman with the leek of St. David’s Day at his hat. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Drawn by Wm. Hogath (sic!) / Engraved by T. Cook. / Published October 1st. 1796 by G. G. & J; Robinson, Paternoster Row, London. / Pl. IV. 14⅛ × 16⅜ in (35.8 × 41.7 cm).

William Hogarth, Near-Arrest for Debt (Cook)

The Rake’s Progress IV. – With multi-lined caption. – After the yet unchanged sunny first state (ills. Hogarth Catalogue of the Tate Gallery, 1972, 72a), thus without the street urchins added by Hogarth in the 3rd state only and without the lightning at the sky, otherwise – contrary to all later Hogarth editions – in his original folio size. – Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too”, Thieme-Becker). – Of very fine chiaroscuro.

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William Hogarth, Near-Arrest (Rake's Progress IV; Cook small)

– – – The same in Cook’s smaller repetition without the caption here replaced by the series title and also without the addition of lightning and street urchins. Inscribed: Pl. IIII. / Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, March 1st. 1809. Subject size 5⅝ × 6⅝ in (14.2 × 16.8 cm). – Trimmed within the wide white platemark whose outer parts are quite faintly age-spotted at three sides.

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– – – The same in engraving by Carl Heinrich Rahl (Hoffenheim 1779 – Vienna 1843). (1818/23.) Inscribed: 16. / Pl: 4. 8¼ × 10⅝ in (20.9 × 27 cm).

William Hogarth, Near-Arrest (Rake's Progress IV; Rahl)

With the lightning & the street urchin sujet playing cards & dice Hogarth only added in the 3rd state of the plate, namely the two shoeshines, the chimney-sweep, the postilion whose trumps are disclosed by an informer, and the little politician studying his Farthing post:

William Hogarth, Urchins (detail Rake's Progress IV; Rahl)
The street urchins (detail)

“ There is a lot of warmth and domesticality past description in the little statesman. He does not hear the thunder of the skies, and does not see the thunderbolt of London’s police … Is it possible to look at the politics of one’s fatherland with great pleasure? ”


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William Hogarth, Near-Arrest (Rake's Progress IV; Riepenhausen)

– – – The same in engraving by Ernst Ludwig Riepenhausen (1765 Göttingen 1840, university engraver there). Inscribed: 16. / W. Hogarth inv & pinx. E. Riepn. d. sc. / Pl 4. 8 × 9⅝ in (20.3 × 24.3 cm). – With street urchins and lightning as aforementioned. – On slightly toned minor paper. – Riepenhausen’s engravings after Hogarth (“very estimable”, Nagler) belong to his chief work and are partly even preferred to Hogarth’s own engravings.

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complete copies of the set and further individual plates available

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(Mr. L. A. F., June 22, 2004)