Marriage A-la-Mode: Plate IV - The Toilette
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 Toilette' is the fourth of the series and is set in the wife's bedroom. Now she is a Countess, she follows the aristocratic French fashion of receiving visitors whilst dressing for the day. The Countess only has eyes for her lover, Silvertongue, whilst she and her guests are entertained by an opera singer and flautist. The baby's teether hanging from the back of her chair tells you that she is now a mother.
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.