William Hogarth, Marriage-à-la-Mode, plate 1

Marriage-à-la-Mode, plate 1

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

RA Collection: Art

Engraving reproducing (in reverse) the first of William Hogarth's set of six paintings Marriage A-la-Mode (1743-4, The National Gallery, London). The set, one of Hogarth's 'modern moral subjects', narrates an ill-fated marriage between the son of an impoverished aristocrat, the Earl of Squander, and the daughter of a wealthy City alderman. Hogarth's print Characters and Caricaturas (17/3433) was issued as the subscription ticket to purchasers of the set.

This first plate shows the Earl of Squander (far left) presiding over negotiations for a marriage settlement between his son and the alderman's daughter. The scene takes place in the earl's bedroom, and is filled with references to the earl's decaying opulence, which is contrasted with the City alderman seated opposite him, who has made a fortune in the city and is ready to pay to secure his daughter's ascent into the landed aristocracy. The bride and groom (far right) sit facing away from each other, uninvolved in the negotiations. The despondent bride is comforted by her father's lawyer Silvertongue.

Object details

Marriage-à-la-Mode, plate 1
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Engraved by
Gerard Jean-Baptiste Scotin (1698 - after 1755)
Published by
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
Object type

351 mm x 445 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
This image is from a book

Hogarth's prints. Vol. I. - [s.l.]: [n.d.]

Click here to view the book

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