Taking the Piss?

Hi again folks.  Ortho over at Baudrillard’s Bastard has asked for help with the question, what’s with all the pissing dogs in various pro/anti Revolution images from the late 18th century.  I’ve used the engraving above several times in classes, but never noticed the dog was peeing.  Not being a colonial historian, my only guess is that this is a reference to the English slang term “taking the piss.”  Anyone else have any ideas?

Meanwhile this thread reminds me I have to go walk my doggie. . .

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2 Comments

  1. I tend to think they’re more convenient than meaningful: Plenty of artists’ models for that element of the composition; and dogs and children give the bottom of the composition more interest–otherwise it would be be all skirts and legs (of the human and furniture varieties).

  2. Hi Heather! Thanks for spreading my question!

    Hi Penny. You might be right that dogs are stock models. So far, I have only noticed peeing dogs in political prints. I will begin to examine the actions of dogs in non-political prints.

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