Sir John Soane's Museum
WEDNESDAY - SUNDAY: 10AM - 5PM
Part time machine, part treasure trove, Sir John Soane’s Museum was the house of a famous neo-classical architect who, on his death in 1837, bequeathed the building and its extraordinary contents to the public on the condition that it be preserved exactly as he left it.
Soane was an avid collector of books, art and antiquities, including Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, paintings by JMW Turner and Canaletto, the alabaster sarcophagus of Seti I, and thousands of architectural drawings and historical volumes.
As well as Soane’s own collections, the museum hosts a full programme of temporary exhibitions.
Next Exhibition: Hogarth: Place and Progress launching in October
All of the paintings and engravings in Hogarth's series will be united for the first time to examine his complex views on morality, the society and the city.
The darkly satirical series of William Hogarth (1697-1764) have an enduring appeal today. Cutting through social conventions, they present with wit and humour the immorality and vice that Hogarth perceived in all classes of society.
Hogarth: Place and Progress will unite all of the paintings and engravings in Hogarth's series for the first time. The Museum’s own Rake’s Progress and An Election will be joined by Marriage A-la-Mode from the National Gallery, the Four Times of Day from the National Trust and a private collection, as well as the three surviving paintings of The Happy Marriage from Tate and the Royal Cornwall Museum. The exhibition will also include engraved series lent by Andrew Edmunds prints such as The Four Stages of Cruelty, Industry and Idleness and Gin Lane and Beer Street.
Hogarth's narratives present a satirical take on the idea of 'progress'. The principal characters flout conventional morality and so progress not towards spiritual enlightenment but to poverty, madness and death. London settings, still identifiable today, play a key role in these cautionary tales: in A Rake’s Progress, the Rake's initial progression from the mercantile City of London to an extravagant West End mansion spirals to a brothel in Covent Garden, then ultimately to insanity and death in Bedlam madhouse, as a consequence of his dissolute lifestyle.
Displayed across the backdrop of Sir John Soane’s Museum, the exhibition will demonstrate how Hogarth’s ‘Modern Moral Subjects’ married the idea of progress with the moral geography of London, in a dynamic and evolving way throughout his own progress as an artist.
SIR JOHN SOANE’S MUSEUM
13 LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS