2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Fine Arts

"Elegancy" and Satire in William Hogarth's Marriage A-la Mode
Sarah E. Spies
Dr. Julia DeLancey and Dr. Sara Orel, Faculty Mentors

Members of the eighteenth-century English aristocracy often presented a public façade of elegance and sophistication that belied their sordid private lives. In a 1743 advertisement, William Hogarth described the “elegancy” of his Marriage A-la Mode suite, which presents the story of the doomed arranged marriage between members of the wealthy class in eighteenth-century England. Throughout the suite, Hogarth satirizes the idea of elegance in the upper class. In focusing on the fourth scene of the narrative, The Toilette, this paper explores Hogarth’s use of satire in the work and places the suite in a historical framework that reveals its connections with the eighteenth-century English aristocracy and the truth behind the elegant façade.

Keywords: William Hogarth, British art, satire, elegance, eighteenth-century

Topic(s):Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 40-3
Location: OP 2210
Time: 4:15

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