William Hogarth

Marriage A-la-Mode: Plate III - The Inspection


Marriage A-la-Mode is a series of six pictures painted and then engraved by William Hogarth between 1743 and 1745.  They pillorise 18th-century society by showing the disastrous results of an ill-considered marriage for money rather than love.  This was Hogarth's first moralising series satirising upper class patronage and aesthetics.

The tale is of a marriage arranged by two self-seeking fathers - a spendthrift nobleman who requires cash and a wealthy City of London merchant who wants to buy into the aristocracy.

'The Inspection' is the third of the series and is set in the consulting room of the French doctor M. de la Pillule.  Viscount Squanderfield is with a sickly looking girl and a woman who is probably her mother and madam.  The Viscount has a pill box by his groin and the girl standing between his legs, suggesting they are both being treated for a sexually transmitted disease, it appears that the pills are not working.  All the adults bear the black spots that Hogarth uses to denote syphilis.

This print is produced on St Cuthbert's Mill special acid free archival artboard.  The overall loose print size is 33cm x 24cm.  The framed print is presented in 20mm black wood archivist moulding, complete with rope hanger over hardboard back with a cream board mount.  The overall size is 43cm x 33cm.

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