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Engraving - Marriage la Mode Plate V

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1950P34
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1745 - 1745

Maker Information

After:William Hogarth - View biography for William Hogarth
Engraver:Simon F Ravenet - View biography for Simon F Ravenet


The 'Marriage la Mode' series was Hogarth's first to satirize the upper classes. In particular he was attacking arranged marriages for economic convenience. The series tells of the disastrous marriage of the Earl of Squanderfield's son, Viscount Squanderfield, to the daughter of a wealthy Alderman of the City of London.

In the fifth scene in the series the Countess and the lawyer, Silvertongue, have attended a masquerade together and have retired to the Turk's Head bagnio. They are disturbed by the young Earl who has followed them there. The two men fight and the Earl is wounded. When the Watch breaks into the room the Countess is begging forgiveness from her dying husband and Silvertongue is attempting to escape through the open window.

On the wall behind the scene is a crude tapestry depicting the 'Judgement of Solomon'. Hogarth is ridiculing the fact that it is not until the imminent death of the Earl that we can see the Countess's true love for him.

Purchased from P and D Colnaghi Co Ltd, 1950.

Further Information

Production Period:18th century
School/Style:English School
Medium:Engraving on paper.


Height:468 mm
Width:588 mm