Marriage-à-la-Mode, plate 6
William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
RA Collection: Art
Engraving reproducing (in reverse) the last 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 sixth plate, 'The Lady's Death', show the countess expiring in the modest home of her father, having drunk poison (a bottle of laudanum lies on the floor). The cause of this is the broadside next to the bottle which reports the hanging of her lover Silvertongue for the murder of her husband (depicted in the previous plate). She is embraced by her child, who displays symptoms of advanced congenital syphilis and is likely to follow its parents to an early grave. The introduction of the orphaned child echoes that in the final plate of Hogarth's earlier A Harlot's Progress (17/3418).
351 mm x 445 mm
Hogarth's prints. Vol. I. - [s.l.]: [n.d.]
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