Does This Courtauld Gallery Painting Capture An Early Incident Of Manspreading?

Does This Courtauld Gallery Painting Capture An Early Incident Of Manspreading?

Take a good look at this image and tell us what you see:

Soutine's Bellboy (c. 1925) Courtauld Gallery/Centre Georges

"Why, this is Chaim Soutine's 1925 painting 'Bellboy', which at once applies a lens to modernity, and simultaneously harks back to the costumed pomp and formality of kings and queens," you say.

And of course you'd be right. But this painting — currently on display at the Courtauld Gallery — captures something else too —  an early example of that infamous transport faux pas, manspreading.

Forget glam art deco hotels in Paris — this chap wouldn't look out of place riding the Central line at rush hour. He's certainly wearing the right coloured outfit for it.

And can Madrid Municipal Transport Company genuinely tell us that Soutine's Bellboy didn't explicitly influence their anti-manspreading campaign?

Bit more detail on the face, and you've essentially got the same image.

Next week: we prove how Van Gogh captured an early example of negging, in oils.

Soutine’s Portraits: Cooks, Waiters & Bellboys is at the Courtauld Gallery until 21 January 2018.

Last Updated 23 October 2017