Object Image

Marriage A-la-Mode: 1, The Marriage Settlement

This is the first in Hogarth's series of six paintings titled Marriage A-la-Mode. They were painted to be engraved and then sold after the engravings were finished.

The Earl of Squander is negotiating the marriage of his son to the daughter of a rich Alderman of the City of London. The Alderman's family will acquire an aristocratic title through the marriage; the Earl will get his hands on ready cash, which has already been emptied out from the money bags onto the table.

The Earl's son and Alderman's daughter have no interest in each other or the marriage. A foxhound and bitch, chained together round the neck, anticipate the bonds of matrimony that will soon tie them together. The large black...

c. 1743
Oil on canvas
69.9 x 90.8cm
Image and text © The National Gallery, London, 2024

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