Authors

A man writing at a desk, with a dog at his feet.
Image Description

A drawing in black ink taken from page 55 of The Fountain; with Jets of New Meanings by Andrew Jackson Davis; it is captioned Every dog is entitled to his day.

A man in a straw boater hat sits at a writing desk, depicted in profile in lines of varying width, looking into the distance of the viewerʼs left with a faint smile. He holds a quill pen, and has written a few lines on the top of a sheet of paper lying on the desk. The hat has a wide brim, which might be turned up at the edges, and covers thick locks of curly hair; his shirt appears the most characteristic of the 1870s, being cotton or linen with a high collar and baggy lower sleeves cut and sewn as a separate piece than the upper (this pattern appears similar, though I donʼt own it myself). A few small pots or stands are arranged on the desk, at least one of which probably contains ink, but arenʼt shown in enough detail to make out whatʼs what. The desk itself is simple, with a flat top and open sides. The top extends down far enough that it could likely contain some shallow drawers, but the perspective means that the side facing the man—from which the drawers would open—isnʼt visible. His chair is likewise simple, with a high, open back and gently curved legs.

A dog lies a short distance away, directly between the viewer and the desk. They have the appearance of a spaniel—perhaps a Welsh Springer, though their legs seem to have shorter fur than that breed—with broad ears hanging to the level of their jaw and a feathered tail. They gaze in the same direction and with a similar calm as the man, and a light patch at the tip of their nose may be intended as their tongue hanging slightly from their mouth. The front legs are crossed, and the one visible back leg is folded alongside the dogʼs belly, so that the entire lower leg to the hock is resting on the ground. The tip of their tail is curled slightly up and back, but it is likewise primarily laid flat.

This is all set under a raised horizontal trellis on which a thick roof of leafy vines has grown; a number of thinner vines dangle down from the cover. These vines are also worked into the frame of the image, one twining itself around the arc of the lower border and (from below) the outer post of the trellis which serves as the left edge. At roughly the level of the desk, up the right side, the arcing bottom meets an ornate wave (which invokes the decoratively‐carved Victorian picture frames) among a spray of the vineʼs leaves. The wave continues up behind the trellis and overhead vines, filling the upper half of the image with a lush busyness. In the upper left corner, where the wave doesn't fill and above the tallest reach of the vines, a bird flies to the left, wings caught at the end of an upstroke and feet curled against their stomach.

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