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Title

Credulity, superstition and fanaticism

1762


Artist

William Hogarth

England

10 Nov 1697 - 1764


About

This print started off as an elaborate satire on the ‘enthusiasm’ of Methodist preaching. Hogarth later revised the composition, extending it to a broader attack on ‘credulity, superstition and fanaticism’. The fainting woman on the left is Mary Tofts, who tricked people into believing she gave birth to rabbits. On the right, a religious thermometer measures the congregation’s reaction to the sermon. The preacher, holding puppets of a devil and a witch, is exposed as a charlatan by his harlequin shirt. His falling wig reveals a monastic tonsure, suggesting that Methodism and Popery amount to the same thing.


Details


Date

1762


Media category

Print


Materials used

etching and engraving


Dimensions

37.8 x 33.0 cm platemark


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

European Art Collection Benefactors' Fund 2011


Location

Not on display


Accession number

145.2011


Artist information

William Hogarth

Works in the collection

28


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Ronald Paulson, Hogarth's graphic works, New Haven, 1965. no.210