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.

After the death of the old Earl the wife is now the Countess, with a coronet above her bed and over the dressing table, where she sits. She has also become a mother, and a child's teething coral hangs from her chair.

The lawyer Silvertongue invites her to a masquerade like the one to which he points, depicted on the screen. A group of visitors on the left listen to an opera singer, possibly a castrato, accompanied by a flautist.

An African page on the right unpacks a collection of curiosities bought at auction, including a figure of Actaeon. The paintings on the right wall show 'Lot and his Daughters' and 'Jupiter and Io' (after Correggio). On the left wall is a portrait of the lawyer and 'Rape of Ganymede' (after Michelangelo).

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1697 - 1764
Full title
Marriage A-la-Mode: 4, The Toilette
Group
Date made
about 1743
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
70.5 x 90.8 cm
Inscription summary
Inscribed
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1824
Inventory number
NG116
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: 3, The Inspection'
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'