The Wedding of Stephen Beckingham and Mary Cox by William Hogarth is a very intriguing piece. It depicts an intimate affair in which only family members and people on a "need-to-know" basis are present.
The groom, Stephen Beckingham, looks very possessive of his bride, Mary Cox, as he grabs her ring finger and looks directly at the minister. Directly above them, a dark cloud with cherubs seems to descend from heaven. The two cherubs appear to be giving their blessing, but there is a sense of foreboding and doom in the black, translucent cloud they rest upon. The lack of light in the painting suggests it is a secret marriage.
Come visit the British paintings galleries in European Paintings. Intrigue and secrets await you!