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This triptych is based on William Hogarth’s satirical series Marriage-À-la Mode (1743-5). Rego’s reinterpretation of this story of a failed marriage draws on her childhood in Portugal.On the left, two women arrange the marriage of the girl in white and the shy boy hiding behind his mother. A sinister sex scene seems a bad omen for their relationship. The central panel seems to satirise woman’s vanity. On the right, thirty years later, the husband has lost all their money in Brazil and is literally supported by his wife. The story is, perhaps, one of female suffering and fortitude.

July 2007