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William Hogarth (1697-1764), Gin Lane
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Тhis print was produced as part of the 1750 campaign against the consumption of gin. Gin was the plague of London in the first half of the eighteenth century. It was said to be responsible for a falling birth rate and rising infant mortality. The campaign led to the Gin Act of 1751 which introduced licensing of retail premises and finally reduced consumption.

Gin Lane is a pair to Beer Street, in which healthy working people are shown consuming flagons of beer, the English national brew, in contrast to the emaciated drinkers of liquor of foreign origin that has reduced the population to frenzied drunks. This scene is set in the poverty-stricken area to the north of Covent Garden. Everyone pictured drinks gin, from babies to young charity girls (identifiable by their uniform caps and aprons and the badges on their sleeves) to an old woman confined to a wheelbarrow.

William Hogarth (1697-1764), Gin Lane


From London, England, 1 February 1751
Ht 38.5 cm




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