Tom at his Morning Levée in London 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

Tom at his Morning Levée in London is one of the eight paintings done by William Hogarth between 1732 and 1734. The painting was engraved in 1934 and later produced in print form in 1735.

All the paintings tell a story of the fall of a wealthy merchant's son called Tome Rakewell, who squandered his father's wealth until he was imprisoned and later died in a hospital. This piece of art depicts the happier days of Tom. It is the second piece of artwork in the series. Here, Tom is seen in his morning levee in London. The event is attended by the top musicians and other guests who are all dressed in expensive clothes. From the left of the painting are music masters, sitting at the harpsichord (represents George Frideric Handel), fencing master, a short quarterstaff instructor and a dancing master who holds a violin.

Next to him is a landscape gardener (representing Charles Bridgeman), an ex-military soldier (for security), and a club's bugler. On the lower right of the painting, is a jockey, who holds a silver trophy. Viewers can tell that the quarterstaff instructor does not approve of the attire worn by both the dancing and fencing masters given his frown. The reason is that both of them have won a French-style fashion, unlike the rest who are English. This artist hated the French style. Therefore, he chose to express his disapproval in the painting.

This artist shows that Tom is very wealthy and can afford to pay the best of musicians, and attracts the high and mighty in society. The painting of the Judgement of Paris hangs on the wall further shows his ability to get the fine things in life. This scene happens in the morning as he prepares for the day. It is a joyful moment for him as he enjoys what the father toiled hard to accumulate. Viewers are advised to check the seven other paintings in the series to get the full story.

Despite being a part of a larger series of paintings, this piece oozes quality scenery, which is typical of the paintings done by naturalists. In the painting, Hogarth tries to show events in daily life so vivid that viewers can pick small details of the event. For example, the allure and the pride of Tom, along with the disapproval of the quarterstaff on the French-style dressing, is evident in the image. There is also the right balance between light colour tones along with an expanded view of the scene, all of which makes the painting look real.