Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Sailor sitting for his Picture, c. 1800-1810

"A Sailor sitting for his Picture" Royal Museums Greenwich.
Suspiciously reminiscent of the 1807 print "A Sailor Sitting for His Miniature", today's caricature also features a sailor being painted by an artist. Today's print is undated and no date is given with the various institutions that hold a copy, but given the strong resemblance to the 1807 print, Jack's general style of dress, and other conventions for showing Jack in caricature at the time, the first decade of the 19th century seems likely, as I haven't been able to track down further information on the years this publisher was active.

This print is from the publisher M. Creary in Dublin and Jack is dressed in much the same style as the London print. Both sailors even have the same long side-whiskers and large spot on their faces, and are seated in much the same attitude. When combined with almost the exact same dialogue ("Carlisle Bridge" from today's print is replaced with "London Bridge" in the 1807 Woodward & Roberts print) the print becomes part of the larger narrative of publishers and artists using and reusing images in different cities in an era before strong copyright protection.

Jack wears pointed-toe brown pumps with large white buckles, striped red trousers, and a gold fob with pink ribbon at his waist. His double-breasted blue jacket is worn open with the cuffs unbuttoned, and the buttons are a grey color that looks like it might be meant to represent pewter. Under the jacket a massive yellow and orange plaid (?) handkerchief is tied loosely around his neck, and an oversized round hat with a blue hatband and huge blue rosette sits over a full head of curly brown hair. A brass tobacco case (absent in the London print) tucked into a welted jacket pocket goes nicely with the white clay pipe that he puffs at.

1 comment:

  1. Instead of a pink ribbon, it could be a pink/red flower to give his sweetheart.