Henry Hudson | A Rake Revisited

Sir John Soane's Museum, London - 2.12.2011 - 29.01.2012

“There is a pervasive sense of fear that is even more tangible in Hudson’s plastiscine clad canvasses than in the original paintings. His work both subverts and celebrates Hogarth’s originals, adding his own story to a work which has become enmeshed in our culture, part of our national consciousness. He embellishes and exaggerates and makes these images from nearly three centuries ago alive for us again, inviting us to look just as acutely at the state of our nation today.” – Tim Knox, Director of Sir John Soane’s Museum

A selection of Henry Hudson’s large-scale paintings in Plasticine based on William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress series of paintings, which are on show at the museum. Soane purchased Hogarth’s series of satirical paintings in 1802.  The eight canvases, which were painted in 1733-34 and are the basis for the well-known series of engravings, depict the story of the hapless Tom Rakewell, starting with ‘The Heir’, when he comes into his inheritance, and ending with ‘The Madhouse’, where Rake ends his days in misery. Hudson, who was born in 1982 and became fascinated by Hogarth as a student at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, has interpreted Hogarth’s imagery by melting Plasticine and applying it as a thick impasto on board.