The Idle 'Prentice at Play in the Church Yard, during Divine Service William Hogarth Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

Hogarth is a famous painter known for working on various paintings and engravings that have featured in various art galleries and at arenas. The artist is said to have lived and worked in the eighteenth century.

Urbanization, politics and the commercial industry influenced most of his work. The numerous paintings by Horgath were mostly driven by what he saw and never made him happy. His paintings featured of the life of both the poor and the wealthy, most of the work done by this artist aimed at sharing and exposing both hypocrisy corruption. These were the most common and rampant societal disorders during that time.

Since he was well familiar with the local culture, Hogarth managed to brush paintings that were entertaining at his time and were related to culture. He managed to come up with a series titled Industries and idleness. The series featured the well-known story of Whittington and his cat among others. However the most common piece in this series, is the one titled The Idle 'Prentice at Play in the Church Yard, during Divine Service by William Hogarth.

The painting features the apprentice seated on a tomb just about to cheat on his cronies. He uses his hat to conceal some of the coins. This seems to have been the source of misunderstanding between the cronies and the apprentice himself. The gamblers are not aware of the authority figure who is behind them. From the painting, we can see him swing his cane just about to make a strike. The characters are held up into their argument to the point that they don't notice authority behind them. At the background of the painting, we see a group of individuals going into a hall. The piece of art does not focus on them that match. All we can tell is that they were getting to church.

The 1747 painting is currently under the management of National Gallery of Art of Washington DC. The picture has been present for decades and never got damaged at any time of its life. The purpose of doing this painting was to educate the public on the effects of being idle. All sketches done by Hogarth would usually target a group of individuals to he would pass down moral lessons.