William Hogarth

British, 1697-1764

The Lady's Last Stake

William Hogarth (British, 1697–1764). The Lady's Last Stake, 1759. Oil on canvas, 36 x 41 1/2 inches (91.4 x 105.4 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1945 (1945:2.1).

Public Domain

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Public Domain

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Public Domain

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

The Lady's Last Stake, 1759

Artwork Details

Collection Highlight

Materials

oil on canvas

Measurements

support: 36 x 41 1/2 inches (91.44 x 105.41 cm); framed: 47 x 52 3/4 x 2 3/4 inches (119.38 x 133.985 x 6.985 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Credit

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1945

Accession ID

1945:2.1

During his lifetime, William Hogarth painted a number of satirical portraits in which he attacked folly and vice, including extravagance, drunkenness, and gambling. Hogarth was a theater enthusiast and thought of his paintings in dramatic as opposed to pictorial terms. The Lady’s Last Stake was inspired by a comedy of the same name by British playwright Colley Cibber (1671–1757), in which a married aristocratic woman gambles away her fortune to an army officer. The soldier then proposes that the two play one more game and, if she wins, she will regain her fortune. Should she lose, she will still have her goods returned, but she will also be obliged to take him as her lover. Yet, the crux of this image is not the couple’s interaction, her considerable loss, or his tactless offer. Instead it is the small, white dog perched on a pillow beneath the table. Traditionally in painting of this period, dogs are a symbol of fidelity, and, here, the dog is out of sight as the woman ponders the soldier’s terms.