The Levee is the second painting from Hogarth's A Rake's Progress series.
Tom uses his inheritance to enter London society and is seen surrounded by those who seek his patronage, offering to teach him all of the accomplishments of a man of fashion. He is evidently spending his father's hoarded wealth recklessly.
The eight paintings in William Hogarth's a Rake's Progress tell the story of Tom Rakewell, a young man who follows a path of vice and self-destruction after inheriting a fortune from his miserly father, finally ending up deranged and penniless in Bedlam, after his failure to establish himself in society. It was Hogarth's second 'modern moral subject', and followed the hugely successful A Harlot's Progress (1730).
The paintings were in the possession of William Beckford until Soane bought them at an auction in 1802 for 570 guineas (Mrs Soane bid for them at Christie's on her husband's behalf). The paintings were originally hung at Soane's country villa, Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing, but were moved back to Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1810. In 1824 Soane re-hung them in his new Picture Room at the rear of No.14 Lincoln's Inn Fields together with the recently acquired series, An Election.
Digital prints are printed in the UK on 250gsm paper sized 280 x 356mm and have a white border. They are packaged in a cello bag with a backing board for protection.
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