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Plate one, from A Harlot's Progress

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.




William Hogarth
English, 1697-1764

About this artwork

One of Hogarth’s four major print cycles of “modern moral subjects” based on his paintings, A Harlot’s Progress is a tale of innocence led astray. As indicated by its title, which subverts that of John Bunyan’s popular Christian allegory, the 1678 Pilgrim’s Progress, Hogarth’s project traces a country girl’s loss of purity and resulting imprisonment, illness, and death. Here the gullible girl, Moll Hackabout, is seduced by the promises of a historical madam, Mother Needham, who is dressed respectably to lure naïve London newcomers into her fashionable brothel.


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Prints and Drawings


William Hogarth


Plate one, from A Harlot's Progress


England (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Engraving in black on ivory laid paper


Image: 30 × 37.5 cm (11 13/16 × 14 13/16 in.); Plate: 32 × 39.2 cm (12 5/8 × 15 7/16 in.); Sheet: 43.4 × 53.7 cm (17 1/8 × 21 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

The Amanda S. Johnson and Marion J. Livingston Fund

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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