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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’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 spot on the groom’s neck and his fashionable French dress suggest he has picked up syphilis, known as the French disease, on his travels.
Marriage A-la-Mode: 1, The Marriage Settlement
Oil on canvas
H 69.9 x W 90.8 cm