Advanced Search

Credulity, Superstition and Fanaticism

Not on view

Credulity, Superstition and Fanaticism

Artist: William Hogarth (British, 1697-1764)

Date: 1762
Medium: Engraving on paper
Overall: 21 3/4 x 15 3/4in. (55.2 x 40cm)
Image: 14 7/16 x 12 3/8in. (36.7 x 31.4cm)
Plate: 5 7/8 × 5 1/8in. (15 × 13cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Edward W. Root
Object number: 53.132
Label Text
Hogarth was one of the most original and lively minds in the history of British art. He sought recognition and financial success in the fields of portraiture and history painting but is chiefly remembered for the more than one hundred and fifty etchings and engravings of contemporary life he termed "Modern Moral Subjects." In this famous print executed near the very end of his career, Hogarth satirized the excesses of fundamentalist religion. A preacher is shown terrorizing his congregation with a pair of puppets representing the devil and a witch. Below, another minister thrusts an icon down the dress a woman seemingly in the throes of religious ecstasy. In the lower right corner is a human brain and a huge thermometer designated with various emotional states. In the left foreground a woman gives birth to rabbits, an allusion to a celebrated London charlatan named Mrs. Tofts who performed such tricks. Above her hangs a chandelier inscribed "A New and Correct Globe of Hell." In the background, physically and emotionally separated from the congregation, a pipe smoking man peers through a window at this scene of religious chaos.

February 2005
No known copyright restrictions.