Title: Dispatch or Jack preparing for sea, by Thomas Rowlandson.
Description: In this caricature, a sailor sits on the knee of a young woman while he gropes her companion’s breast. In his spare hand he has a drink and he is shouting encouragement to the two musicians. Rowlandson was an astute observer of life on the waterfront and in the taverns of maritime London. The prostitutes in his pictures are young, pretty and buxom. They are not downtrodden victims, but are charming wenches. Unfortunately, the reality for many prostitutes was a long way removed from this cheerful stereotype.
Creator: Thomas Rowlandson
Date: c. 1810
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London