The Art that Inspired ‘The Rake’s Progress’

2017-01-22T19:21:19+00:00

In 1947, Stravinsky visited the Art Institute of Chicago and viewed a series of engravings by the 18th-century artist William Hogarth, entitled A Rake’s Progress. These eight scenes, which traced the descent of Tom Rakewell from respectability to debauchery to madness, struck him immediately with their dramatic potential—and thus, the seed was planted for what became his neo-classical operatic triumph, The Rake’s Progress. What were these artworks that so sparked his imagination, and who created them?