William Hogarth (1697–1764). Beer Street, 1751. Etching and engraving. Graphic Arts Collection, Firestone Library.

Sin & the City

Firestone Library Exhibition

Main Gallery
Princeton University

26 August 2011
29 January 2012

This fall the Princeton University Library will celebrate eighteenth-century London as seen through engravings by one of its most popular storytellers. Sin and the City: William Hogarth's London, on view 26 August 2011 to 29 January 2012, presents Hogarth's unflinching chronicle of the city's development from a medieval town to a swirling modern metropolis.

Whether examining scenes along the impoverished roads of St. Giles parish, peering into the dark cellars of Blood Bowl Alley, or accompanying a procession to the Tyburn gallows, Hogarth’s engravings plunge us into a city that is not only grand and powerful but also chaotic, crime-ridden, and sometimes even heartbreaking.

The exhibition includes 70 engravings by Hogarth, along with the work of his contemporaries, such as Jonathan Swift, John Gay, and Henry Fielding, among others. Period maps and original documents from the first production of The Beggar’s Opera will also be on view.