Skip to content

Collection

All

Search

Western art

View More:


Title

Credulity, superstition and fanaticism

1762


Artist

William Hogarth

England

10 Nov 1697 - 25 or 26 October 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

Artist profile

Works in the collection

32


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


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

Hogarth’s graphic works, London, 1989, pp 175–78, no 210a, illus p 409.