image Cromwell M, IM00006267
Image number: RS.11057
Credit: © The Royal Society
Looking for a special gift? Buy a print of this image.

Caricature of Cromwell Mortimer


ca. 1745


Rigou, Engraver


William Hogarth (1697-1764, British), Painter

Object type




height (print): 222mm
width (print): 133mm



Interior scene in which Cromwell Mortimer dozes at a table while a fool holds a peacock feather above his head. Although anonymous, the identity of this satirical study is clear from the twin portraits on the wall behind, labelled “Cromwell” and “Mortimer”. Various books are shelved behind, including “Sr I: Newton no Philosopher” and “on the Itch”. Other volumes by scientists are scattered on the floor: “Barrow”, “Boyle” etc., and Mortimer’s foot rests on “Newton”. On the table is an owl holding an inkwell in its beak and illustrated papers marked “Phi.Tran” [Mortimer edited the Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions] “on Buggs” and “Arbot vitae”.

The print has been trimmed, removing part of the original title couplet from the top:

“Here Folly, Ignorance, and Pride, Combine,
To prove Him of the true Duncean Line,”

Inscribed poem, below:

“Studious he Sate, with all his books around,
Sinking, from thought to thought, a vast profound!
Plung’d for his sence, but found no bottom there;
Then writ, & flounder’d on, in mere despair.
Thr’o Luna Veil’d one, truly D U we see,
Nor fear to tell that Mortimer is He.

Inscribed below in pencil: “Cromwell Mortimer, MD”. The engraver inscription “Rigou, sculp” has been trimmed.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > United Kingdom