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Picture of the day
Marriage A-la-Mode: 2. The Tête à Tête
The Tête à Tête is the second of a series of six oil-on-canvas paintings by English painter and pictorial satirist William Hogarth, created around 1743. The series, entitled Marriage A-la-Mode, depicts an arranged marriage and its disastrous consequences in a satire of 18th-century society, and is now in the collection of the National Gallery in London.

In this picture, the couple are shown shortly after their wedding, and there are signs that the marriage has already begun to break down. The husband and wife appear uninterested in one another, amidst evidence of their separate dalliances the previous night. A small dog finds a lady's cap in the husband's coat pocket, indicating his adultery. A broken sword at his feet shows that he has been in a fight. The posture of the wife also indicates unfaithfulness; as Hogarth once noted: "A lock of hair falling thus cross the temples ... has an effect too alluring to be strictly decent, as is very well known to the loose and lowest class of women". The disarray of the room and the servant holding a stack of unpaid bills show that the affairs of the household are in a mess.Painting credit: William Hogarth

See also