Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wanted: Camp Follower or Pack Horse

Women following the 18th century army did a lot of odd jobs. Laundry, mending, nursing. Gathering firewood, cooking, hauling water. I haven't come across this job before, though:



In a very common 18th century print trope, a dog appears in the foreground. Seriously--check out any selection of 18th century prints or political cartoons. At least half will feature a dog. Half of the dogs will be piddling. Some art historians suggests that the piddling dog serves as a commentary on the scene depicted--that it's meant to be taken satirically or derisively, because of the piddling pup. I'm not sure that's always the case, but this dog's actions definitely seem to be a commentary on the scene! Mother dog hauling puppy, hearty camp follower hauling officer.

Come across anything that's made you laugh today?

2 comments:

Sarah said...

We talked about this in my US History class. In many of the famous Revolutionary cartoons made at the time--like taking down King George's statue in NYC--there is always a dog. There's even a drawing of a dog in one of the first meetings of Congress.

The Dreamstress said...

Wow! That's hilarious, and dreadful! I had not noticed the piddling dog trend.