Marriage à la mode
Hogarth's moral messages proved an ideal formula for depicting in a series of paintings the abundance of detail he loved.
In this series, elegantly engraved by French craftsmen and published in 1745, Hogarth's main purpose was to attack the marriage of convenience and the greed and tastelessness of fashionable life, whereas his earlier series, The Harlot's Progress and The Rake's Progress, were aimed at a lower level of society. Marriage à la mode was not as successful as his earlier series, probably because the message was too near the bone for prospective purchasers. It is however, to us, fascinating to observe his characterisation of the foppish groom and the snivelling bride in this, the epitome of Hogarth's satire.