A great, complete set of Hogarth’s Marriage a la Mode on copper plate.
Presented within softwood frames showing an ebonised finish highlighted with a gold edge.
Technically more sophisticated than Hogarth’s other progresses, Marriage a la Mode was aimed at the upper middle class and aristocracy, a smaller, more select audience than the artist usually addressed in this genre. The subject of his work, according to his advertisement, is the ‘Modern Occurrence in High-Life’. It tells the story of two young people ill-suited to each other who are forced into a marriage ordained to failure. Serving only the vanity and avarice of their parents, the union drives the couple to destroy each other and wreck their families.
Unlike most of Hogarth’s crowded scenes, this wok scrutinises five main characters, concentrating on the increasingly desperate ways the two protagonists develop in response to each other and their circumstances.
Though the series appears to be an attack on the cynical opportunities of both the middle class and the aristocracy, its exposure of the aristocracy is much more complete and harsh than its criticism of the artists own class. This bias is best revealed by the complete lack of sympathy with which the young Squanderfield is portrayed. Effete and narcissistic from the beginning, he contrasts on a moral level with his middle-class wife, whose natural goodness is finely destroyed by his protracted neglect and repeated infidelity.
Dimensions in CM
Various between 34 x 36.5 and 37 x 42