Friday, September 16, 2016

Sailors at a Methodist sermon, 1819

Sailors at a Methodist sermon, 1819.
London, Woodward delt; S.W. Fores publisher.
The Lewis Walpole Library.
This caricature from 1819 is almost at the end of this blog's time period, and my first image covering the post-Treat of Paris era. In it a smug sailor gives back a snappy retort to a wild-haired Methodist preacher.
Of interest is how the sailor is shown to be a sailor when he is dressed almost identically to the man behind him, in a short, single-breasted jacket worn open, a handkerchief tied tightly around his neck, a single-breasted waistcoat worn buttoned, trousers that are a bit baggy in the rear, and a hat. It is not necessarily unique clothing that unmistakably marks him to be a sailor but the colors of his clothes: a blue jacket, red waistcoat, white trousers, and black hat. The colorist knew what people expected a stereotypical sailor to look like, and colored his clothes as such. (As a side note, the version of this print in the collection of Royal Museums Greenwich is colored the same way.)

Differentiating him from the men around him is the fact that the sailor carries a stick with a big, knobby head and that his round hat is somewhat "squashy" looking, with a hatband, turned-up brim, and a large crown. Instead of being brushed forward as was fashionable on land or worn curled his short brown hair is naturally curly and flows out from under his hat.

The man all the way to the right may also be a sailor, judging by the blue rosette in his hat, blue jacket and trousers, black handkerchief, and stick tucked under his arm.

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