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The Improvement of Morals

A work made of etching and engraving on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching and engraving on ivory laid paper.




Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki
German, 1726-1801

About this artwork

This plate satirizes the efforts of Merlino, an inferior Berlin engraver who drew attention to bizarre current events through his weekly publications. At the center, a scaffold holds thirteen images. To the right, a street musician performs before a crowd, while on the left a hot-air baloon goes up in flames. In the background are caricatures and depictions of crimes.


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Prints and Drawings


Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki


The Improvement of Morals


Germany (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.

Made 1786


Etching and engraving on ivory laid paper


Plate: 21.2 × 33.5 cm (8 3/8 × 13 1/4 in.); Sheet: 22 × 34.5 cm (8 11/16 × 13 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift

Reference Number


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.

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Extended information about this artwork

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