A companion pl. to BMSat 9813. A pretty young woman wearing a décolleté négligé, stands with her back to the fire, her gown raised to leave her posterior naked. She holds a book: ‘The Monk – a Novel by M’ [‘G. Lewis’, cf. BMSat 9932]; another is open on the floor: ‘Œconomy of Love by Dr Arm[strong’, 1736]. A cat rolls on its back. On a table are a decanter of ‘Creme de Noyau’, and an open book: ‘The Kisses’. On the mantelpiece are flowers and an ornate clock with embracing cupids. A picture partly covered by a curtain represents Danaë receiving the golden shower. The room, apparently that of a courtesan, is luxuriously furnished. 26 February 1801
Hand-coloured etching, British Museum, 1935,0522.7.12
I’ve left that caption intact, though it seems quite long enough for a blog post itself. This image turned up on Twitter (you can follow me there @kittycalash, expect randomness) and delighted me at the end of a long, tough week. I’m particularly taken with the cat, which resonates with an lolcat that floated about the interwebs last winter. The interwebs can be a strange place…
But aside from that silly cat, there are a wealth of details in this image, some of which are explicated in the caption.
What struck me- after the cat– was the slipcover on the sofa. How lame is that– but it’s true. Floral print, I suspect, but possibly woven, it’s loosely draped and long. I’m more familiar with the checked linen slipcovers seen in representation of New England interiors, so the floral really struck me. I suppose those linen checks symbolize all the puritanical uprightness and restraint of early Federal New England dons (if you believe in that kind of thing), while the loose floral print drapery tells you everything you need to know about our Rumpford friend.
We all see what we want to see…cats, slip covers, or courtesans.