An image of Credulity, superstition and fanaticism

William Hogarth

(England 10 Nov 1697 – 25 or 26 October 1764)

Credulity, superstition and fanaticism

Location
Not on display
Further information

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.

Year
1762
Media
Print
Medium
etching and engraving
Dimensions
37.8 x 33.0 cm platemark
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Credit
European Art Collection Benefactors' Fund 2011
Accession number
145.2011
Provenance
Andrew Edmunds Prints & Drawings, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Andrew Edmunds Prints & Drawings 2011