Art À La Mode


Marriage a la Mode, Plate III


Title Marriage à la Mode,
Plate III, Scene with the Quack
Artist William Hogarth
Date 1745 (reprinted 1822)
Medium Etching and engraving
Location The Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University

In the low-ceilinged rooms of a quack, the Viscount seeks a cure for the venereal disease he has passed on to a young girl (whose handkerchief may hide a syphilitic sore on her lip). Grotesque 'freaks' used for references in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century medical journals appear on the back wall, emphasizing the ugliness of Viscount Squander's moral deformity. Other visual commentaries upon Squander's moral decay include a skeleton who consorts with a human figure and the bodiless head of a wigged 'nobleman,' highlighted by Squander's cane.

Colour prints of Marriage à la Mode are on display in the exhibition space. The prints were made by Thomas Cook after William Hogarth from 1796 to 1797 and are on loan from the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College.


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