The Rake in Bedlam, William Hogarth, 1733

Below is “The Rake in Bedlam,” from the series,  A Rake’s Progress by the Englishman William Hogarth, 1733.  The engraving shows the once rich Tom Rakewell, reduced to penury and madness.  In the 18th Century, it was common to lock up criminals, the poor and the all insane together, and to allow the rich (notice the two ladies at the rear), to pay a few cents to observe the spectacle.  Such treatment was generally ended in most nations by the early 19th Century.  But the practice of imprisoning the insane alongside the sane still continues in some penitentiaries in the United States and elsewhere.

bedlam

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