Culture Magazine

Friday 3rd December - Barney, Leave the Girls Alone

By Kirsty Stonell Walker @boccabaciata
Today's picture for Dogvent contains a lovely bit of sky.  I'll start with that because what follows is decidedly less wholesome.  Anyway, look at this lovely sky...
Friday 3rd December - Barney, Leave the Girls Alone
Absolutely gorgeous.  Unfortunately, it's above this...

Friday 3rd December - Barney, Leave the Girls Alone

Barney, Leave the Girls Alone (1850) John Frederick Herring


Oh, for goodness sake, what on earth is going on here?! Whose idea was it to go on a picnic with what appears to be a sex-pest in a smock? I have so many questions, so let's take this a bit at a time...
Friday 3rd December - Barney, Leave the Girls Alone

So I'm guessing this is Barney being told by the woman in brownish-red to leave the woman in blue alone. He's got his pipe out and is blowing smoke all over the poor girl.  Maybe he thinks women really like that? Also, why is the woman in blue apparently falling out of her frock? What exactly is he smoking?! It's like an aftershave advert from the 1970s - he smells so alluring, her dress has fallen off.  Or something.  He's being physically restrained.  The woman in blue's dog is looking on in utter horror.  It's all very disturbing.
Friday 3rd December - Barney, Leave the Girls Alone

The dog behind them is trying to keep well out of it.  I'm only here for the sausage rolls, he's thinking, but all she's packed are dead ducks and a bunch of flowers.  That is a terrible picnic. Also, why is there a leather belt looped through the handle.  What sort of outing was she expecting?! Not a scotch egg to be seen. Maybe the belt is to attached the dead duck basket to her horse?
Friday 3rd December - Barney, Leave the Girls Alone

Hang on, is the brown horse biting the white horse?! Also, I have a question about the thing on the girth strap...
Friday 3rd December - Barney, Leave the Girls Alone

Okay, maybe I don't because I'm not even sure where to start with that.  It looks very disappointed. What on earth is going on?! There are three adults, two dogs and the dead duck surprise picnic, yet only two horses, so how did everyone get there? Also, I'm guessing the woman falling out of her dress is meant to be the white horse tormented by Barney the brown horse - or maybe the lady in the russet-red dress is meant to be the horse biting Barney who is the white horse with the disappointed girth.  There is nothing sadder than a disappointed girth. This painting is just so problematic I will have to fix it for us all...

Friday 3rd December - Barney, Leave the Girls Alone

Dog and woman go for entirely issue-free walk (1850) John Frederick Herring

 
There we go - now the dog is pictured having a nice, non-problematic walk with his mistress who is making the best of the good weather, and being entirely alone, to sunbathe her shoulders without worry about perverts. Ah, that's better.
See you tomorrow.

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