We’re up to Plate 6 in William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress – Scene in a Gaming House. Tom Rakewell, briefly flush with blunt after marrying for it in last week’s plate, is once again in the throes of his bad decisions. You know things are bad when you lose your hair.
The paintings of A Rake’s Progress are in the collection of Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, and are considered part of the public domain.
Ruined by gaming and extravagances. Modern Term.
From the Wikipedia description:
The sixth painting shows Tom pleading for the assistance of the Almighty in a gambling den at White’s club in Soho after losing his reacquired wealth. Neither he nor the other obsessive gamblers seem to have noticed a fire that is breaking out behind them.
I think so much more detail can be seen in the engraving versus the oil portrait: I didn’t even notice that something was on fire in the background of the latter. Another observation for the Regency romance author is that this scene presents a sneak peek into a gambling room at White’s. An awful lot of men were crammed into that small space (possibly scenting blood in the water as Tom lost his fortune), and the decorations were spare (possibly an omission of the artist, but why decorate what men would likely not care to admire?).
Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.