Cruelty in Perfection, number three from the series The Four Stages of Cruelty

William Hogarth, English, 1697 - 1764



Etching and engraving on laid paper

Image: 14 x 11 3/4 in. (35.5 x 29.8 cm)

Plate: 15 5/16 x 12 5/8 in. (38.9 x 32.1 cm)

Sheet: 22 3/16 x 16 15/16 in. (56.4 x 43 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Purchased through the Jean and Adolph Weil Jr. 1935 Fund



Europe, Great Britain



Object Name




Not on view


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.

Course History

ENGL 22, The Rise of the Novel, Alysia Garrison, Spring 2015

COLT 49, Beasts on the Page, Paul Carranza, Spring 2014

ENGL 20, Age of Satire, Alysia Garrison, Winter 2014

Exhibition History

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.


Andrew Edmunds Prints & Drawings, London, England; sold to present collection, 2007.

Catalogue Raisonne

Paulson, Ronald. Hogarth's Graphic Works. London: Yale University Press, 1965, no. 189 only (in fact i/ii, before the price erased).

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete.

Noticed a mistake? Have some extra information about this object? Contact Us