Monday, June 03, 2013

A show of hands

Of the many things that George B. McClellan catches grief for is this pose.

The usual beef, being that he fancies himself another Napoleon.

Perhaps there is some truth to that, but before one jumps on the anti-McClellan bandwagon for something so banal let's take a look at the hands of some of his contemporaries.

James Longstreet after a large meal.

Gang sign or lodge membership? Only Lt. Evans knows for sure.

Allan Pinkerton demonstrating his uncanny knack for making even
 the most dignified pose seem sleazy.

J.A Logan looking like Napoleon with a mullet.

Mac being contrary.

Left-handed variation

Kimball slyly considering his elaborate pompadour.

I think Orlando Wilcox, at the last moment, didn't want to be lumped in with this group.

Publisher Joseph Wesley Harper (of Harpers).

Rosecrans taking the Longstreet "tummy" approach.

William B. Franklin gets in on the act.

Crips or Bloods?

Robert S. Foster

Erasmus Keyes, with twinkle in eye.
  I think he read this blog post and is just mugging for the camera.

Even suitable for evening wear.

Thaddeus Stevens, humorless as ever, possibly digging for his checkbook.

Perhaps McClellan-bashers will now put this one to rest, though I think it unlikely.

Staying handy, just north of Sharpsburg



William Sagle said...

Brilliant post, Mannie! Well done.

Unknown said...

Nice post. No mention of the 150th ... A welcomed relief.

jeff said...

Good to see you back! Missed you there for a while.

Anonymous said...

Point taken. McClellan still deserves to be bashed, but not for this.

Amber said...

I think all park rangers should start taking photos like these!

Unknown said...

So the question is, who did it before Napoleon?

Moe Daoust said...

From Wikipedia: "The pose traces back to classical times — Aeschines, founder of a rhetoric school, suggested that speaking with an arm outside one's chiton was bad manners.[3] The pose was used in 18th-century British portraiture as a sign that the sitter was from the upper class.[1] An early 18th-century guide on "genteel behavior" noted the pose denoted "manly boldness tempered with modesty."[3][4] Art historian Arline Meyer has argued that - in addition to mirroring actual social behaviour or borrowing from classical statuary - the pose became a visualization of English national character in the post-Restoration period; in the context of increasing Anglo-French rivalry, the pose promoted "a natural, modest, and reticent image that was sanctioned by classical precedent" in contrast to "the gestural exuberance of the French rhetorical style with its Catholic and absolutist associations".[5]"