Cruelty in perfection [graphic] / design'd by W. Hogarth.
Hogarth, William, 1697-1764, printmaker.
[London] : [Wm. Hogarth], published according to act of Parliament, Feb. 1, 1751.
1 print : etching and engraving on laid paper ; plate mark 38.8 x 31.9 cm, on sheet 61.1 x 47.1 cm
Title engraved above image. State, publisher, and series title from Paulson. Third in a series of four: The four stages of cruelty. Three columns each with four lines of verse etched below design: To lawless love when once betray'd, soon crime to crime succeeds: at length beguil'd to theft, the maid by her beguiler bleeds. Yet learn, seducing man! Nor night, with all its sable cloud, can screen the guilty deed from sight; foul murder cries aloud. The gaping wounds, and blood stain'd steel, now shock his trembling soul: but oh! what pangs his breast must feel, when death his knell shall toll." "Price 1s"--Bottom left below design.
Tom Nero, now a highwayman, has been arrested for the murder. He stands in the churchyard over the body of his pregnant lover, Ann Gill, whose throat and wrist are severed. One from the group of men who have apprehended Tom show him the knife as the others restrain him; they are armed with pitchforks, sticks, and other farm tools. Ann lies on her back on the ground, the bundle of plate that she has stolen from her mistress at Nero's request spilling out at her side. The light from the lantern in the left foreground illuminates the contents of Ann's letter to Tom telling the story of her entanglement and guilt. A box with her initials is open revealing a copy of the Book of Common Prayer and a copy of God's revenge against murder. Also on the ground near the lantern are Tom's pistol and a collection of watches that he has stolen. The clock in the church tower shows 1:00; a bat and owls circle overhead.
Hogarth, William, 1697-1764, artist. Kinnaird, Charles Kinnaird,--Baron,--1780-1826--Ownership. Perrins, Charles William Dyson,--1864-1958--Ownership. Sotheby, Frederick Edward,--1837-1909--Ownership. Steevens, George,--1736-1800--Ownership.
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Lewis Walpole Library
Lewis Walpole Library
Local Record Number:
Catalogue of prints and drawings in the British Museum. Division I, political and personal satires, v. 3, no. 3159a Paulson, R. Hogarth's graphic works (3rd ed.), no. 189
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