First stage of cruelty [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 38.6 x 32.1 cm, on sheet 61.1 x 47.1 cm
Title engraved above image. State, publisher, and series title from Paulson. First in a series of four: The four stages of cruelty. Quotation engraved below image: "While various scenes of sportive woe, the infant race employ, and tortur'd victims bleeding shew, the tyrant in the boy. Behold! A youth of gentler heart, to spare the creature's pain. O take, he cries - take all my tart, but tears and tart are vain. Learn from this fair example - you whom savage sports delight, how cruelty disgusts the view while pity charms the sight."
In a London street, young boys inflict various forms of cruelty upon animals. In the centre, a boy (Tom Nero), identifiable by the badge on his shoulder as a pupil of St. Giles's Parish School, thrusts an arrow into a dog's anus; he ignores the offer of a large tart from a sympathetic young gentleman (said by Paulson to be a compliment to the young George III). To his left on the front of the balustrade, a boy draws a prophetic picture of Tom hanging from the gallows. Below Tom, another boy ties a bone to a dog's tail. In the lower left, a dog disembowels a cat. In the center foreground another boy kneels on the cobblestones, about to release a cock, as another boy prepares to a stick at it; the boy behind him holds a second cock. On the balustrade one boy holds a torch while his companion blinds a bird with a wire. Further to the left on the balustrade a group of boys laugh at the sight of two cats fight as they are hung by their tails from a gibbet-shaped lamp post. Above them a cat with a pair of wings tied to its back has been tossed out the attic window to see if it could fly.
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, Prints and Drawings
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Catalogue of prints and drawings in the British Museum. Division I, political and personal satires, v. 3, no. 3147 Paulson, R. Hogarth's graphic works (3rd ed.), no. 187
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