Pair of consecutive antique engravings designed by W. Hogarth and engraved by T. Cook from THE RAKE'S PROGRESS series entitled PLATE VII. PRISON SCENE and PLATE VIII. SCENE IN A MADHOUSE. Both are excellent examples of Hogarth's work depicting moral subjects that show how excess leads to ruin. Hogarth's works are rich in meaning and fascinating to analyze. Below is a transcript of the text inscribed below each image:
"Happy the man whose constant thought, (Though in the school of hardship taught,) Can send remembrance back to fetch Treasures from life's earliest stretch; Who, self-approving, can review Scenes of past virtues, which shine through The gloom of age, and cast a ray To gild the evening of his day! Not so the guilty wretch confined: No pleasures meet his conscious mind; No blessings brought from early youth, But broken faith, and wrested truth; Talents idle and unused, And every trust of Heaven abused. In seas of sad reflection lost, From horrors still to horrors toss'd, Reason the vessel leaves to steer, And gives the helm to mad Despair."
Published April 1st 1797 by G. G. & J Robinson, Pater-noster Row, London.
SCENE IN A MADHOUSE.
"Madness! thou chaos of the brain, What art, that pleasure giv'st and pain? Tyranny of fancy's reign! Mechanic fancy! that can build Vast labyrinths and mazes wild, With rude, disjointed, shapeless measure, Fill'd with horror, fill'd with pleasure! Shapes of horror, that would even Cast doubt of mercy upon Heaven; Shapes of pleasure, that but seen, Would split the shaking sides of Spleen. "O vanity of age! here see The stamp of Heaven effaced by thee! The headstrong course of youth thus run, What comfort from this darling son? His rattling chains with terror hear, Behold death grappling with despair! See him by thee to ruin sold, And curse thyself, and curse thy gold!"
Published June 1st 1797 by G. G. & J Robinson, Pater-noster Row, London.
They come nicely framed and ready to display. In good used condition with toning, stains, minor foxing and imperfections to frames as shown. Shipped fully insured with tracking number.
Measurements: Frame: 19.5" by 17.5" and 19" by 17"; Plate marks: 16.5 by 14 1/8" approximately.