An image of Gin Lane

William Hogarth

(England 10 Nov 1697 – 25 or 26 October 1764)

Gin Lane

Location
Not on display
Further information

The setting is the poverty-stricken slums of St Giles, where the binge drinking of gin was a major social problem. A drunken mother is oblivious to her child’s fall into the stairwell of a gin cellar, while a skeletal ballad singer has passed out nearby. Gripe the pawnbroker is thriving, as people pawn everything for drink. Mothers quieten their babies with gin and children sip it. Hogarth published this print in support of a campaign to stop drunkenness among London’s poor. The Gin Act was passed in 1751, which introduced licensing of retail premises and a greatly reduced consumption.

Year
1751
Media
Print
Medium
etching and engraving
Dimensions
38.5 x 31.9 cm (trimmed to platemark)
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Credit
Purchased 2011
Accession number
323.2011
Provenance
Andrew Edmunds Prints & Drawings, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Andrew Edmunds Prints & Drawings 2011