Gillray Etchings: Harmony and Matrimony

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Item Description: 

The Gillray etchings at the end of the gallery offer a more specific way of moving this discussion into the social realm. They raise questions about the gendered way that music and acoustics were enacted in the public sphere, and extend the scope of the gallery beyond the scientists and natural philosophers. By looking at the integral way music and music performance function in depictions of courtship and marriage, Gillray performs a critique of social structure and gender relations that not only depends on musical tropes more fully than we might assume at first glance, but which also enhances our understanding of how such tropes function in private, domestic spaces.