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An insane man (Tom Rakewell) sits on the floor manically grasping at his head, his lover (Sarah Young) cries at the spectacle while two attendants attach chains to his legs; they are surrounded by other lunatics at Bethlem hospital, London. Engraving by W. Hogarth, 1763.

  • Hogarth, William, 1697-1764
June ye 25 1735 [i.e. 1763]
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About this work


[London] : Publish'd according to Act of Parliament, June ye 25 1735 [i.e. 1763]

Physical description

1 print : line engraving with etching ; platemark 35.8 x 41 cm


Madness, thou chaos of ye brain ... Invented & c by Wm. Hogarth ... Retouch'd by the author 1763.


3rd state.

References note

The first state appears in: British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. III, pt. 1, London 1877, no. 2246
R. Paulson, Hogarth's graphic works, 3 ed., London 1989, no. 139

Lettering note

Lettering continues: "What art? That pleasure givst, and pain? Tyranny of fancy's reign! Mechanic fancy; that can build vast labyrynth's, & mazes wild, with rule disjointed, shapeless measure, fill'd with horror, fill'd with pleasure! Shapes of horror, that wou'd even cast doubt of mercy upon heaven. Shapes of pleasure, that but seen wou'd split the shaking sides of spleen. O vanity of age! here see the stamp of heaven effac'd by thee. The headstrong course of youth thus run, what comfort from this darling son! His rattling chains with terror hear, behold death grappling with despair; see him by thee to ruin sold, and curse thy self, & curse thy gold."


Wellcome Library no. 20040i



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