City Foulers Mark, English School

Artist unkown

About 1840

Oil on Canvas

49.4 x 57.2 cm

This painting is taken from a popular print by Henry William Bunbury, first published in 1785. It shows a wooded scene in the immediate suburbs of London, with St. Paul’s in the background. Two city gentlemen with guns prepare to fire, as their dog points at a bush – behind which, concealed from the sportsmen, squats a man excreting. A man holding a powder-flask watches with amusement from the top of a gate on the right-hand side, while another dog sits patiently in the foreground. Beneath the title are lines from John Gay’s Trivia: Or, the Art of Walking the Streets of London of 1714:

Against the Wind he takes his prudent way,
While the strong Gale directs him to the prey;
Now the warm scent assures the covey near,
He treads with caution & he points with fear.