Artist: William Hogarth

Before   William Hogarth, 1730-31


From the Getty Museum:
This narrative painting describes the moments before a seduction. A young man in red breeches attempts to pull a young woman onto a bed. Struggling, she tries to push him away, dragging her dressing table down with her. Ironically, an open drawer reveals a book on the rules of courtship. Below, a small dog barks, alarmed by the commotion. 
In this companion piece to the Before [the Seduction], a man stands and hurriedly pulls up his breeches after successfully seducing a young woman. Cap and clothing askew, the disheveled woman implores his discretion. The overturned table and broken mirror symbolize the woman’s shattered life now that she has lost her virginity. The dog sleeping in the foreground refers to post-coital exhaustion. 

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