This painting is part of the group: Marriage A-la-Mode

'Marriage A-la-Mode' was the first of Hogarth's satirical moralising series of engravings that took the upper echelons of society as its subject. The paintings were models from which the engravings would be made. The engravings reverse the compositions.

The third scene takes place in the room of a French doctor (M. de La Pillule). The Viscount is seated with his child mistress beside him, apparently having contracted venereal disease, as indicated by the black spot on his neck, Hogarth's symbol for those taking the mercurial pills which were the only known treatment for this ailment.

He holds towards the doctor a box of pills; other boxes on the chair and in his mistress's hand suggest he is seeking an alternative remedy. An older woman holds a clasp knife; she appears to be the young girl's mother.

The machines to the right, identified in the inscription on the open book, are for setting a broken shoulder, and drawing corks. A skeleton embraces a model in the cupboard behind the Viscount.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1697 - 1764
Full title
Marriage A-la-Mode: 3, The Inspection
Group
Date made
about 1743
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
69.9 x 90.8 cm
Inscription summary
Inscribed
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1824
Inventory number
NG115
Location in Gallery

Other paintings in the group: Marriage A-la-Mode

Painting
William Hogarth
about 1743
William Hogarth: 'Marriage A-la-Mode: 1, The Marriage Settlement'
Painting
William Hogarth
about 1743
William Hogarth: 'Marriage A-la-Mode: 2, The Tête à Tête'
Painting
William Hogarth
about 1743
William Hogarth: 'Marriage A-la-Mode: 4, The Toilette'
Painting
William Hogarth
about 1743
William Hogarth: 'Marriage A-la-Mode: 5, The Bagnio'
Painting
William Hogarth
about 1743
William Hogarth: 'Marriage A-la-Mode: 6, The Lady's Death'