WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Ace of Spades

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Ace of Spades

Blindsided.

Gutted.

Marriage à-la-mode did not end the way I thought it would. No wonder these paintings were not received as well as his others. This series is full-on tragedy. What began as satire, for me, quickly spiraled into pure devastation. That poor child has a spot on his face, and we all know what that means. Only the dog is having a good day.

Marriage à-la-mode, a series of six pictures painted by William Hogarth between 1743 and 1745, are in the permanent collection of the National Gallery.

Ace of Spades

A widow.

Marriage à-la-mode: 6, The Lady’s Death (The Suicide of the Countess), by William Hogarth, 1743, National Gallery.

From the Wikipedia description:

Finally, in the sixth painting, The Lady’s Death (the name on its frame), called The Suicide of the Countess by Hogarth, the countess poisons herself in her grief and poverty-stricken widowhood, after her lover is hanged at Tyburn for murdering her husband. An old woman carrying her baby allows the child to give her a kiss, but the mark on the child’s cheek and the caliper on her leg suggest that disease has been passed onto the next generation. The countess’s father, whose miserly lifestyle is evident in the bare house, removes the wedding ring from her finger.

 

Dat father tho – once a cit, always a cit. The Bingley sisters may have been right after all, for all that they were barely fronting their one-generation-removed status.

Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

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WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Hummums

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Hummums

Plot twist!

I adore it when I don’t see a twist coming, and I completely failed to see this. Trope-free, for my viewing pleasure. Or at least a far from overused trope (which may be a redundant phrase, but it fits what I’m trying to convey, I think).

How utterly tragic the marriage the Earl and Countess of Squanderfield has become.

Marriage à-la-mode, a series of six pictures painted by William Hogarth between 1743 and 1745, are in the permanent collection of the National Gallery.

Hummums

A bagnio, or bathing house.

Marriage à-la-mode: 5, The Bagnio (The Killing of the Earl), by William Hogarth, 1743, National Gallery.

From the Wikipedia description:

In the fifth painting, The Bagnio (the name on its frame), called The Killing of the Earl by Hogarth, the new earl has caught his wife in a bagnio with her lover, the lawyer, and is fatally wounded. As she begs forgiveness from the stricken man, the murderer in his nightshirt makes a hasty exit through the window. A picture of a woman with a squirrel on her hand hanging behind the countess contains lewd undertones. Masks on the floor indicate that the couple have been at a masquerade.

 

Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Capricornified

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Capricornified

Paging Dr. Phil, the Georgian era Dr. Phil. Or better yet, Steve Harvey. He’s pretty much the take-no-prisoners kind of non-certified therapist that this poor couple needs.

Unlike the past two Hogarth series I’ve profiled (A Rake’s Progress and A Harlot’s Progress), I’ve not looked at this series in its entirety. I’m looking at each painting as I write each post, which seems unheard of in this day of binge-watching entire seasons of shows, courtesy the Netflix-syndrome. I’m not sure if this couple will go the route of typical aristos and ignore each other, he with his mercury and she with her -ew, how bougee- lawyer, or if the newly minted Earl hubs will get airs and banish his Countess.

One thing is definite, by Hogarth’s Hand, and that is, the Countess has evidently given as good as her Earl. I feel like the number of horns in the painting alone qualifies this as a precursor to a Highlights magazine hidden pictures puzzle.

Hopefully minus the syphilis.

Capricornified

Cuckolded, hornified.

Marriage à-la-mode: 4, The Toilette (The Countess’s Morning Levee), by William Hogarth, 1743, National Gallery.

From the Wikipedia description:

In the fourth, The Toilette (the name on its frame), called The Countess’s Morning Levee by Hogarth, the old earl has died, so the son is now the new earl and his wife is the countess. The countess sits with her back to her guests, oblivious to them, as a servant attends to her toilette (grooming). The lawyer Silvertongue from the first painting is reclining next to the countess, suggesting the existence of an affair. This point is underlined by the child in front of the pair, pointing to the horns on the statue of Actaeon, a symbol of cuckoldry. Paintings in the background include the biblical story of Lot and his daughters, Jupiter and Io, and the rape of Ganymede. The Actaeon and several other figurines are seen marked for auction. Such paintings show the African, presumed to be untamed fetish-worshipper and hunter, now fashioned into an icon of courtly style.

 

Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Nimgimmer

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Nimgimmer

Well, that escalated quickly.

Remember that time your typical society marriage was all beer and skittles, and you each went your married way, until your husband dandled a prostitute with an open sore on her mouth on his “knee.” The next thing you know, it’s mercury pills and trips to the doctor.

Yeah, that time. Oh, to have been a young Georgian lady with a father looking to marry her off to any young heir to an Earldom. Lud.

This is the third portrait in Marriage à-la-mode, a series of six pictures painted by William Hogarth between 1743 and 1745. The series is in the permanent collection of the National Gallery. It’s time to visit the doctor this week…although the curator of the National Gallery’s exhibition has doubts about just whose interests the physician in this portrait is serving.

Nimgimmer

A physician or surgeon, particularly those who cure the venereal disease.

Marriage à-la-mode: 3, The Inspection (The Visit to the Quack Doctor), by William Hogarth, 1743, National Gallery.

From the Wikipedia description:

The third in the series, The Inspection (the name on its frame), called The Visit to the Quack Doctor by Hogarth, shows the viscount (the earl’s son) visiting a quack with a young prostitute. According to one interpretation, the viscount, unhappy with the mercury pills meant to cure his syphilis, demands a refund while the young prostitute next to him dabs an open sore on her mouth, an early sign of syphilis. But according to the analysis of Judy Egerton, the curator of the National Gallery’s exhibition, the interpretation is very different: The viscount has brought the child to the doctor because he believes he has infected her with syphilis. The woman with the knife is the girl’s mother, feigning anger in order to blackmail the viscount, who is being set up. The child already had the disease when her mother sold her to him, either because he was not her first “protector” or because she inherited the illness from her syphilitic father, who is the quack doctor.

 

Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Smithfield Bargain

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Smithfield Bargain

My name is Renee, and I have a tiny obsession with William Hogarth of a sudden.

This month, I’ve trained my eye on Marriage à-la-mode, a series of six pictures painted by William Hogarth between 1743 and 1745 – so ten years after his Harlot and Rake series. Marriage à-la-mode deliciously (and astutely) derided the upper echelons of 18th century society by illustrating and satirizing the ill-fated outcomes of marriages arranged for money and position.

This series was not as popular as the aforementioned Harlot and Rake series, but all paintings remain intact and in the permanent collection of the National Gallery.

Smithfield Bargain

A bargain whereby the purchaser is taken in. This is likewise frequently used to express matches or marriages contracted solely on the score of interest, on one or both sides, where the fair sex are bought and sold like cattle in Smithfield.

Marriage à-la-mode: 1, The Marriage Settlement, by William Hogarth, 1743, National Gallery.

From the Wikipedia description:

In the first of the series, The Marriage Settlement (the name on its frame), called The marriage contract by Hogarth, he shows an arranged marriage between the son of bankrupt Earl Squanderfield and the daughter of a wealthy but miserly city merchant. Construction on the earl’s new mansion, visible through the window, has stopped, and a usurer negotiates payment for further construction at the center table. The gouty earl proudly points to a picture of his family tree, rising from William the Conqueror. The son views himself in the mirror, showing where his interests in the matter lie. The distraught merchant’s daughter is consoled by the lawyer Silvertongue while polishing her wedding ring. Even the faces on the walls appear to have misgivings. Two dogs chained to each other in the corner mirror the situation of the young couple.

 

Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Venus’s Curse

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Venus’s Curse

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Seriously. Who can look at Moll’s face, posture, or living conditions in Plate 5 and not be affected. The doctors attending her were Richard Rock (the chubby one) and Jean Misaubin (the skinny one), who both advertised in 1732 their inventions of pills that would supposedly cure venereal disease. I almost chose a different slang term this week: nimginner, meaning a physician or surgeon, particularly those who “cure” the venereal disease.

A Harlot’s Progress was a series of six paintings and engravings. The paintings were destroyed in a fire at Fonthill House in 1755, but the original engraving plates survived, and are in the public domain.

Venus’s Curse

The venereal disease.

A Harlot’s Progress – Plate 5 – Moll Dying of Syphilis, by William Hogarth, 1732, British Museum.

From the Wikipedia description:

Moll is now dying of syphilis. Dr. Richard Rock on the left (black hair) and Dr. Jean Misaubin on the right (white hair) argue over their medical methods, which appear to be a choice of bleeding (Rock) and cupping (Misaubin). A woman, possibly Moll’s bawd and possibly the landlady, rifles Moll’s possessions for what she wishes to take away.

Two Doctors and the Landlady/Bawd from A Harlot’s Progress – Plate 5 – Moll Dying of Syphilis, by William Hogarth, 1732, British Museum.

Meanwhile, Moll’s maid tries to stop the looting and arguing. Moll’s son sits by the fire, possibly addled by his mother’s venereal disease. He is picking lice or fleas out of his hair. The only hint as to the apartment’s owner is a Passover cake used as a fly-trap, implying that her former keeper is paying for her in her last days and ironically indicating that Moll will, unlike the Israelites, not be spared. Several opiates (“anodynes”) and “cures” litter the floor. Moll’s clothes seem to reach down for her as if they were ghosts drawing her to the afterlife.

Moll, Her Maid, and Son from A Harlot’s Progress – Plate 5 – Moll Dying of Syphilis, by William Hogarth, 1732, British Museum.

 

Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Boarding School

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Boarding School

This week it’s the penultimate plate of A Rake’s Progress: Plate 7 – The Prison Scene. Tom has officially reached the end of his rope without reaching the end of His Majesty’s rope…as of yet. And he’s receiving a whole new kind of education at this institution.

The paintings of A Rake’s Progress are in the collection of Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, and are considered part of the public domain.

Boarding School

Bridewell, Newgate, or any other prison, or house of correction.

A Rake’s Progress – Plate 7 – The Prison Scene (Engraving) by William Hogarth, 1735, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Public Domain.

From the Wikipedia description:

All is lost by the seventh painting, and Tom is incarcerated in the notorious Fleet debtors’ prison. He ignores the distress of both his angry new wife and faithful Sarah, who cannot help him this time. Both the beer-boy and jailer demand money from him. Tom begins to go mad, as indicated by both a telescope for celestial observation poking out of the barred window (an apparent reference to the Longitude rewards offered by the British government) and an alchemy experiment in the background. Beside Tom is a rejected play; another inmate is writing a pamphlet on how to solve the national debt. Above the bed at right is an apparatus for wings, which is more clearly seen in the engraved version at the left.

A Rake’s Progress – Plate 7 – The Prison Scene by William Hogarth, 1735, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Public Domain.

Between Plates 6 and 7, I’m pleased to note Tom has found his periwig, at least, and replaced it upon his nog.

Next week we wrap up our visit to Soane’s Museum and our tour of A Rake’s Progress.

 

Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.