Valentine’s Day brings thoughts of love, engagement, marriage, and passion, but William Hogarth’s fifth picture in his Marriage à-la-mode series (1745) portrays a warning to those who jump into love and marriage for the wrong reasons (such as money). Hogarth’s painting depicts a young wife begging forgiveness from her husband, the new Earl of Squanderfield, after being caught in the bath-house with a lawyer, who fatally wounds the Earl and quickly escapes through the window1. The painting is part of the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs Collection.
1. Fort, Bernadette and Angela Rosenthal, eds. The Other Hogarth: Aesthetics of Difference. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001. Web. 1 Feb. 2012.