Hogarth Gets the Dr. Martens Treatment

It was 1735 when William Hogarth’s ‘A Rake’s Progress’ was engraved and first published in print form, now 280 years on the sorry story of the spendthrift Tom Rakewell has been brought to the masses via a very different medium…

Hogarth Dr Martens

Dr. Martens have collaborated with Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, where the original paintings of ‘A Rake’s Progress’ (1733) are on permanent display, to produce a collection which sees one of Hogarth’s most famous works of social commentary transformed into shoes (£115), boots (£125) and a satchel (£140).

The eight plates of ‘A Rake’s Progress’ follow Tom Rakewell, the rake of the piece, as he squanders away his inheritance. He’s fitted for expensive clothes and parties with prostitutes, but  in the end even marriage to a rich but ugly old maid isn’t enough to fund his favourite pastimes of whoring and gambling. Tom is eventually arrested and taken to the Fleet debtors’ prison, where he descends into madness before finally ending his days in London’s notorious Bedlam asylum.


Today marks the 251st anniversary of Hogarth’s death, and you have to wonder what the man himself would have thought of his work gracing the feet of his admiring public. All publicity is good publicity, no doubt! Proceeds will help support the work of the Sir John Soane Museum, so this collaboration is doing great things for eighteenth-century art. I’ve got my eye on that satchel…


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