Signed, in plate, lower right margin: Design'd by W. Hogarth.; dated, in plate, lower left center margin: Published according to Act of Parliament Feb.1.1751.; titled, in plate, upper center margin: CRUELTY IN PERFECTION; inscribed, in plate, center: Here lieth / the Body [on fence]; inscribed, in plate, lower left: Dear Tommy / My Mistress has been / the bestr of Women to me, and my / Conscience flies in my face as / often as Think of wringing her, / yet I am resolv'd to venture Body / & Soul to do as you would have me / so don't fail to meet me as you / said you would. For I shall / bring along with me all the / things I can lay my hands on. / So no more at present / but I remain yours till / Death Ann Gill. [in letter]; inscribed, in plate, lower left: To Thos [s is superscript] Nero / at [illegible] [on envelope]; inscribed, in plate, lower center: A G [on chest]; inscribed, in plate, lower right center: GODS / Revenge / against Murder [in book]; inscribed, in plate, lower left margin: Price 1s. [s is superscript]; inscribed, in plate, lower left margin: To lawless Love when once betray'd, / Soon Crime to Crime succeeds : / At length beguil'd to Theft, the Maid / By her Beguiler bleeds.; inscribed, in plate, lower center margin: Yet learn, seducing Man! nor Night, / With all its sable Cloud, / Can screen the guilty Deed from Sight: / Foul Murder cries aloud.; inscribed, in plate, lower right margin: 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.
The series The Four Stages of Cruelty depicts the protagonist Tom Nero and his calculated cruelty at each stage of life. Over the course of the four scenes, his actions become more severe and barbarous. In the third stage of cruelty, we see Nero questioned regarding the robbery and murder of a pregnant maidservant who lies dead on the road. He has seduced her into stealing for him, and then kills her in order to take what she stole. Hogarth seems to comment on the often glamorized portrayal of robbers that is associated with easily acquired wealth yet often disguises a crueler narrative.
The book in the case below is the first volume of two that show high-quality reproductions of the complete works of Hogarth. The print shown on this page is the same image as the print above, yet produced by a different engraver and printer. Though the image and subject are the same, the particular plate that yielded each of these impressions is distinct. While Hogarth as the artist designed the image and etched the original plate, a craftsman in the 19th century produced the image in the book. One image is considered a work of art while the other is a reproduction as part of an encyclopedic account of Hogarth. Do you think they are the same in terms of artistic quality? What differences do you see?
From the 2019 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 94, Society Engraved, curated by Jules Wheaton '19, Levinson Intern Campus Engagement
ENGL 20, Age of Satire, Alysia Garrison, Winter 2014
COLT 49, Beasts on the Page, Paul Carranza, Spring 2014
ENGL 22, The Rise of the Novel, Alysia Garrison, Spring 2015
ENGL 22, Rise of the Novel, Alysia Garrison, Spring 2019
A Space for Dialogue 87, The Tortured Soul: Exploring the Excesses of Human Emotion, Laura Dorn, Class of 2015, Main Lobby, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 11-May 24, 2015.
A Space for Dialogue 94, Society Engraved, Jules Wheaton, Class of 2019, Levinson Intern, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 22-August 4, 2019.
Jules Wheaton, Class of 2019, Levinson Intern, A Space for Dialogue 94, Society Engraved, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2019.
Andrew Edmunds Prints & Drawings, London, England; sold to present collection, 2007.
Paulson, Ronald. Hogarth's Graphic Works. London: Yale University Press, 1965, no. 189 only (in fact i/ii, before the price erased).
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