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This is the second in Hogarth’s series of six paintings titled Marriage A-la-Mode. It is a few months after the wedding of the Earl of Squander’s son to the Alderman’s daughter. The bride stretches sleepily, apparently after spending the whole night playing cards. The groom sprawls in his chair, exhausted from a night of debauchery on the town – the small dog tugs a girl’s muslin cap out of his pocket, and a second muslin cap is wound round the hilt of his broken sword. The large black spot on his neck denotes syphilis.
Marriage A-la-Mode: 2, The Tête à Tête
Oil on canvas
H 69.9 x W 90.8 cm