Politics in Print

The Lottery
Title The Lottery
Artist William Hogarth
Date 1721 (reprinted c. 1822)
Medium Etching and Engraving
Location The Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections,
Northwestern University

The Lottery is Hogarth's companion piece to The South Sea Scheme. Here he criticizes the government for raising money by lottery. The curtains create the effect of a stage upon which allegorical figures of virtue and vice perform a dumb-show. Lottery is based on Raphael's Dispute and School of Athens, yet the characters are far from heroic. The satirical humor of this print depends largely upon its mock-heroic inversion of High Renaissance prototypes.


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