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A Harlot's Progress, Plate 3

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Image of A Harlot's Progress, Plate 3

William Hogarth
English, 1697–1764

A Harlot's Progress, Plate 3

From the series, A Harlot's Progress

Object Type: Print
Creation Place: Northern Europe, English, London
12 x 14 3/4 in. (30 x 37 cm)
Medium and Support: Etching and engraving on laid paper
Accession Number: 2018.0005.0006.0003

Credit Line: Gift of the Weil Print Endowment in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr.

"A Harlot’s Progress" was one of several series of engravings made by Hogarth that were highly influential in the development of printmaking in Europe as well as England. He was one of the first visual artists to address the social inequities suffered by the lower classes, the morally bankrupt behavior of members of the aristocracy, and the exploitation of women at all levels of 18th-century society. The main character in Harlot’s Progress—a fictional girl named Moll Hackabout— experienced circumstances then common in 18th century London: the fate of a country girl who arrived in the metropolis of London, and was then preyed upon by unscrupulous characters who exploited her youth and naiveté.

Discarded by the merchant, Moll lives in reduced circumstances as a prostitute. She arises, and displays to an older servant a watch that she has stolen or claimed as payment the previous evening. Unobserved by the two women, a procession of constables arrives to arrest Moll.

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