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Cruelty in Perfection

A work made of woodcut with letterpress in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of woodcut with letterpress in black on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1750

Artist:

John Bell (English, 1721–1780)
after William Hogarth (English, 1697-1764)

About this artwork

Hogarth frequently used an episodic format to depict an unsavory character’s descent into debauchery, and the four-print series Four Stages of Cruelty features the artist’s most sadistic villain, Tom Nero. After impregnating a lady’s maid and convincing her to steal from her mistress and run away with him, he murders her. In John Bell’s large-scale woodcut after Hogarth, Nero is apprehended as the dead body of his lover is discovered.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

William Hogarth

Title

Cruelty in Perfection

Place

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.

1750

Medium

Woodcut with letterpress in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

Image/block: 45.2 × 38.2 cm (17 13/16 × 15 1/16 in.); Sheet: 51.6 × 41.5 cm (20 3/8 × 16 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

William McCallin McKee Memorial and Robert M. Chase Endowment funds

Reference Number

2015.15

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/227321/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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