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Tailpiece, or the Bathos

A work made of etching and engraving in black on cream wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching and engraving in black on cream wove paper.


April 1764


William Hogarth
English, 1697-1764

About this artwork

William Hogarth was an English painter and engraver notorious for his biting political satire. He also discovered that artists could become independent of patronage by making engravings of their own paintings and selling them to the public. Hogarth created The Bathos toward the end of his life. It is considered one of the bleakest artworks of the 18th century because it depicts the Apocalypse without an afterlife. The Angel of Death even collapses in exhaustion after having destroyed the world. In his hand is an execution decree and around him lies a mass of broken objects.


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Prints and Drawings


William Hogarth


Tailpiece, or the Bathos


England (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Etching and engraving in black on cream wove paper


Plate: 31.5 × 33.5 cm (12 7/16 × 13 1/4 in.); Sheet: 42.2 × 47.2 cm (16 5/8 × 18 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

The Charles Deering Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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