Notice that the two men in the picture are holding hands! This drawing sparked a very animated discussion among my friends and I.
Were these men being portrayed as homosexual, or was this simply a gesture of friendship?
We discussed the phenomenon of "dandies" at this time - men who were very concerned with their appearance and things of material value. They took great pride in looking spiffy and were often thought to be a little over-the-top by their less-dandy male counterparts.
One of my friends claims that the dandy population was also widely considered to lean towards homosexuality. This is something that I have not heard, but I also couldn't find a lot of information on the subject, so I can neither prove nor disprove this claim. If it IS true, though, this may very well be a picture of two gay men!
If not however - if dandies were assumed to be straight just as most other men were - then I'm still confused by this picture. Did men just hold hands in the 1830s? Was that a thing?
If you have any answers for me, please, let me know! I'd love to learn more about this!