Hogarth Reconsidered

 

Art à la Mode

Hogarth did not restrict his comments on art to his theoretical treatise. His series Marriage a la Mode narrates the unhappy union of a wealthy middle-class alderman's daughter and a bereft aristocrat's son. Hogarth depicted this series entirely in interiors. His selection of particular paintings, sculptures and objects in these scenes satirizes the prevailing decorative schemes and tastes of eighteenth-century England. Moreover, the very choice of the images represented in these interiors foreshadow and comment on the moral narrative depicted. Thus, the character traits and inevitable fates of the protagonists are literally and figuratively 'written on the walls.'
Marriage a la Mode, Plate IV [1745]
Marriage à la Mode Plate IV [1745]

 

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