Marriage-à-la-Mode, plate 5
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
RA Collection: Art
Engraving reproducing (in reverse) the fifth 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 fifth plate, 'The Bagnio', shows the earl having been fatally wounded by his wife's lover Silvertongue, who escapes out of the window. The countess kneels in remorse before her husband. Bagnios began as coffee houses with Turkish baths attached, but by the 1740s were mostly in effect brothels. While the earl may have followed his wife to her assignation with the intention of confronting her and Silvertongue, he may have also have happened by chance to be there with his own mistress. Either way, the death of the earl seems unpremeditated and probably caused by self-defence on the part of the fleeing Silvertongue.
351 mm x 445 mm
Hogarth's prints. Vol. I. - [s.l.]: [n.d.]
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