William Hogarth

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William Hogarth

Gin Street, ca. 1750

Inscribed variously as part of design, in graphite, along edge of distiller's roof at left, KILLMAN DISTILLER, above doorway at right, S GRIPE PAWN BROKER; on scroll in lower left corner, The / Down / fall of Mdm Gin, and above arch in lower right corner, Drunk for a penny / Dead Drunk for two pence / Clean straw for nothing; inscribed in red chalk along lower margin at lower center, GIN STREET.

Red chalk, some graphite; incised with a stylus
15 1/2 x 12 1/8 inches (394 x 306 mm)

Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1924

III, 36
Item description: 

In this model for a print, published in London in 1751, Hogarth presented a veritable catalogue of the evils of drink. The drawing is set in a slum where the only successful businesses are the pawnbroker, distiller, and undertaker. In the same year that Hogarth published this drawing, the Gin Act was passed, reducing the number of gin shops and more than doubling the tax on the spirit.