What better way to start the New Year than with a picture of a young woman being groped, while four lecherous old goats look on? Throw in a measure of rudery about the French (“A la mode Francois”) and you have it all !
Gratification of the Senses is by Rowlandson and appeared in 1800 and is shown courtesy of the excellent Lewis Walpole Library. The hour is late (11.30 by my reckoning) and a soldier is fondling the breast of the unfortunate young girl. I say unfortunate – she has to put up with not just the feeling (by the soldier) but being sniffed at by an old man with a big beak, ogled at by another one intent on seeing all that there is to see, listened to by another old lech with an ear trumpet, while having her hand licked by another who is enjoying the taste! The five senses have never been so revoltingly displayed! I love it….