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Officer of the Third Regiment of Foot Guards, 1792 British Museum 1890, 0806.2

Every now and then, my interests collide in unexpected ways. While searching the Tate Collection for something completely different, I came upon this image of a fine-figured officer. I love a man in a uniform, and this one comes with a bonus: the curator’s comments.  “According to Binyon the outline etchings are by Thomas Kirk, after a drawing by Edward Dayes, coloured by Turner as a boy.”

You can see Turner’s  style latent in those trees and in the dramatic sky, and even in the shadow that lies at the officer’s feet. 

18th century coloring book, or image defaced by inchoate genius: you be the judge.