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The Reward of Cruelty

Image of Elizabeth Taylor in thick black outline against a lime-green background, hair black, skin vivid pink, lips red, and eyeshadow turquoise.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Image of Elizabeth Taylor in thick black outline against a lime-green background, hair black, skin vivid pink, lips red, and eyeshadow turquoise.

Date:

1750

Artist:

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

About this artwork

In the conclusion to the print series Four Stages of Cruelty, the corpse of the murderer Tom Nero is dissected in an anatomy theater. At this time the bodies of criminals were the main source of cadavers; here Hogarth pointedly left the hangman’s noose around Nero’s neck. The dog gnawing on an discarded organ, possibly the heart, refers to the character’s unseemly torture of a dog in the first print of the series.Hogarth commissioned this work and Cruelty in Perfection in a rare foray into the woodcut medium, but abandoned the experiment after only two prints; he published the complete series as smaller engravings a year later.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

William Hogarth

Title

The Reward of Cruelty

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 in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

Image/block: 45.5 × 38.5 cm (17 15/16 × 15 3/16 in.); Sheet: 52 × 42.4 cm (20 1/2 × 16 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

William McCallin McKee Memorial and Robert M. Chase Endowment funds

Reference Number

2015.16

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/227322/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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