IFPDA - Artwork
The Marriage

David Hockney

The Marriage


Etching and aquatint

11 5/8 x 15 1/2 inches (29.5 x 39.5 cm)

signed and dated in pencil David Hockney '62, lower right, printed in black ink on J Green mould-made paper by Birgit Skiold, London and published by Petersburg Press; numbered 16 from the edition of 75. £13,500

The Fine Art Society


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In the Summer of 1962, with his final term at the Royal College of Art completed, David Hockney embarked on a trip to Europe with his lover, a young artist called Jeff Goodman. They started their voyage in Italy, first visiting Mark Berger and Ferrill Amacker in Florence then heading to the idyllic beaches of Viareggio. From Italy they travelled cross-country by train to Munich, and then Berlin, inspired by the novels of Christopher Isherwood. While in Berlin Hockney visited the Pergamon Museum where he recalled: "I never seem to be able to go round a museum at the same pace as anybody else, and when I went with Jeff … we got separated. Suddenly I caught sight of him standing next to an Egyptian sculpted figure, unconcerned about it because he was studying something on the wall. Both figures were looking the same way, and it amused me that in my first glimpse of them they looked united … from the distance they looked like a couple, posing as it were, for a wedding photograph. This amused me at first, but then I rather liked the idea of the marriage of styles … The heavy stylised wooden figure – with the real human being." He immediately committed this image to paper in a couple of drawings in his West Berlin hotel, and on his return to London completed the canvas 'Man in a Museum' (or 'You’re in the Wrong Movie'). The theme was one that stayed with him and he explored it further both in the etching 'The Marriage' and two canvases: 'The First Marriage (A Marriage of Styles)', 1962 (Tate), which is very close in composition to the etching, and 'The Second Marriage', 1963 (National Gallery of Victoria).