Industry and Idleness, I. William Hogarth (1697-1764). 1747. 10 3/16 x 13 3/8 inches.from
Scriptural Texts on ornate shields beneath main image: (beneath apprentice at left) Proverbs chapter 23 verse 21: "The Drunkard shall come to Poverty & drowsiness shall cloath a Man [in] Rags." (beneath apprentice at right): Proverbs chapter 10 verse 4: "The hand of the diligent maketh rich."
Other Texts within the picture space
- The engraving with the texts enlarged
- Over the good apprentice's head: the rules of apprenticeship
- Over the good apprentice's head: Tale of Dick Wittington, who become Lord Mayor of London, (a popular tale that prefigures the success of the good apprentice)
- Over the bad apprentice's head: pages from Defoe's Moll Flanders, tale of a prostitute
- Near the good apprentice's loom: The Prentices Guide in good shape
- Near the bad apprentice's loom: a tattered copy of The Prentices Guide
- Near the bad apprentice's loom: a beer mug with the words "Spittle Fields"
Perhaps Spittle Fields plays on Spittal Fields, the East London section that had much textile manufacturing, or, less likely, a reference to Spitalfields (a contraction of Hospital Fields), possibly the place the bad apprentice's body goes to be dissected after his hanging.
Paulson, Ronald. Hogarth: His Life, Art and Times, 2 vols. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1971.
Paulson, Ronald. Hogarth's Graphic Works. revised edition. 2 vols. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1970.
Last modified 9 October 2007