Beating Hemp in Bridewell: A Harlot's Progress, Plate 4

William Hogarth (English, 1697-1764)

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The harlot is now in Bridewell, the prison for prostitutes, card sharps, and the like. A gambler stands next to her, identified by the torn card on the floor. The inmates beat hemp to pay for their keep and to profit the warder, who threatens them with his cane. A chalk drawing on the far wall features a cartoonish man on the gallows marked “Sr. J. G.”—Sir John Gonson, who had been responsible for their incarceration.

William George Sullivan; given to the John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1930.

Object Information

William Hogarth (English, 1697-1764)
creation date
etching and engraving
11-7/8 x 14-7/8 in. (image)
16-1/4 x 19-3/8 in. (sheet)
mark descriptions
"Wm. Hogarth invt. pinxt. et sculpt."
A Harlot's Progress
accession number
credit line
Gift of William George Sullivan
Public Domain
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

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