(England 10 Nov 1697 – 25 or 26 October 1764)
37.8 x 33.0 cm platemark
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.
Ronald Paulson, Hogarth's graphic works, New Haven, 1965. no.210
European prints and drawings 1500-1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 2014–02 Nov 2014