With apologies to William Hogarth…
1. The Heir
Our hero, Rupert Murdoch is introduced after inheriting the business from his father. Rupert is pictured in the house which shows the various newspapers he owns scattered around the place.
2. The Levee
Now we see Rupert in his new palatial home, one of many dotted around the world as he spends money to buy up more and more media companies.
Amongst the assorted visitors include the Sky Arts manager, the MySpace owner, a movie director, a Fox News presenter and a film critic.
3. The Orgy
Rupert is drunk on success and starting to lose control of what is going on around him. The media regulator’s staff and lantern lie on the floor discarded while staff around him commit crimes.
4. The Arrest
Rupert has squandered his good fortune and narrowly escapes arrest for hacking into phones on the way to a party at 10 Downing Street.
Rupert is saved by his old friend, Tony Blair who spends his income from public speaking on bailing Rupert out.
5. The Marriage
Stripped of his media empire but unused to the powerless life, Rupert agrees to a merger of his assets with Richard Desmond.
Rupert is clearly more interested in the young internet than in the old porn to newspaper baron.
6. The Gaming House
Rupert, balding has gambled away his second fortune in another failed internet venture. Rupert is not the only loser, as the Facebook founder sits by the fire and bemoans the launch of Google+.
7. The Prison
The phone hacking scandal has come back to haunt him, and as Tony Blair is now in jail for war crimes he has to face the courts alone an unhelped.
Here we see him sitting next to the script of a film of his life he hoped to sell to 20th Century Fox to secure his redemption.
8. The Madhouse
Rupert has descended into madness and has been transported to Guantanamo Bay. He is surrounded by other fallen media moguls, William Randolph Hurst, Robert Maxwell and Conrad Black.
Images courtesy of Sir John Soane’s Museum, where the original Rakes Progress is on display. The museum is open throughout the week, but also late on the first Tuesday of the month when it is lit by candles.