Art À La Mode

 

Marriage a la Mode, Plate V

 

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

The adultery of the Countess has resulted in a duel between her husband and Silvertongue, who escapes out the window. Mortally wounded, Viscount Squander's awkward pose mimics a Deposition scene in which a repentant Magdalen (the Viscountess) kneels before 'Christ.' A portrait of a harlot hangs behind the Countess, suggestive of her licentious acts. St. Luke, while he is often depicted painting the Virgin Mary, here, above the door, he records the scene of debased femininity before him.

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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