Hogarth, William, 1697-1764 :[The four stages of cruelty]. Second stage of cruelty. Design'd by W Hogarth. Publish'd according to Act of Parliament Feb 1 1751. Price 1s.
The subject is the wanton cruelty to animals and humans. It follows the `progress' of a young man, Tom Nero, who takes delight in various forms of extreme cruelty and ends up victim of his own example.
The scene is set in Holborn. In the centre foreground, Tom, now a grown man, savagely beats a horse which has collapsed beneath the weight of pulling a carriage laden down with four over-fed lawyers. The one good person is jotting down Tom's name and carriage number, in order to report him to the authorities. In the right foreground, another man mirrors Tom's actions by clubbing a sheep to death before it even reaches the slaughterhouse. Behind him a dozing drayman carelessly drives his cart over a boy who had been playing with a hoop on the road. In the middle ground a man prods a grossly over-laden donkey with a pitchfork, while on the right, a crowd of running enthusiasts cheer on a baited bull.
On the left and next to the Thavies Inn Coffee House door, a poster advertises `Broughton's Amphitheatre', a popular venue for boxing at which James Field and George Taylor will fight. Field was a well-known pugilist, hanged for robbery on 11 Feb 1751. Beneath this another poster advertises `Cockfighting'.
The verse below the image is attributed to James Townley
The four prints were published on 21 Feb 1750/51. They were published in two versions: one on ordinary paper for one shilling and the other for collectors on finer paper at one shilling and sixpence.
Source of descriptive information - Literary Encyclopaedia (www.litencyc.com)
Inscriptions: Recto - above image - Second stage of cruelty; Recto - beneath image - Verse and publication details
Quantity: 1 b&w art print(s).
Physical Description: Engraving, 385 x 320 mm (platemark), on cream wove paper, 650 x 485 mm
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- 1 b&w art print(s), Works of art, Engravings, Engraving, 385 x 320 mm (platemark), on cream wove paper, 650 x 485 mm, Orientation: Vertical image
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