The Blessing of Tom by Sarah William Hogarth Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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William Hogarth was a famous English editorial illustrator, printmaker, as well as a painter who was born on the 10th day of November in the year 1697 and died on the 26th day of October in the year 1764.

William Hogarth's A Rake's Progress series of pictures that consisted of eight artworks were created between 1732 and 1733. After production, these paintings were engraved and then published by the year 1735 in print format. The pictures in this series depict the reduction as well as the fall of Tom Rakewell, who was a prodigal son, as well as the successor of a wealthy businessman. Tom, who hailed from the City of London, is depicted as he misuses every bit of his money on expensive lifestyle, gambling, and prostitution. As a result, he was held captive in the Fleet Prison and consequently, Bethlem Hospital. The initial collection of pictures is stored in Sir John Soane's Museum in the City of London, where they are usually displayed.

The painting is made up of different individuals. The passers-by are heading in different directions. Also, individuals are carrying out their operations within the setting of the art. One of them is a lady known as Sarah and an individual on top of the ladder. One of the passers-by is bending and holding a piece of wood as the lady attends to him. This guy is assumed to be Tom as he is receiving a millinery service. Tom is heading to a party in St. James Palace. Based on his past lifestyle, he is caught up in extravagance, where he ends up in debt. Given this situation, as he heads to the venue of the party, he is nearly arrested because of his debts, but luckily, he gets help from Sarah, a lady he had refused for a hand in marriage.

During the process of being served by the lady, the lamplighter mistakenly spills oil on his head, and this is interpreted as a blessing. In this case, it is viewed that Sarah is a blessing to him as the occurrence coincides with her saving action. As these activities take place, an individual among the passers-by takes advantage of the situation and steals from Tom. The thief further takes the initiative to snatch Tom's cane from him. The painting is situated at Sir John Soane's Museum. The theme of the art is extravagance and stealing vice in society. The medium of the painting is oil on the canvas.