OIL PAINTING: The Captain's Daughter, 1873
Here is the scene story f The Captain's Daughter of Tissot. Capt. Birdseye seems about to cut a deal with a junior officer on his eponymous daughter. She, meanwhile, displays unconvincing interest in the passing shipping, and doesn't even bother to use the bijou binoculars with which she is supplied. In fact, she hardly bothers to hold them properly -- and there is no strap round her neck, while the river gurgles below.... Thus an alternative explanation of the swain's fascination with the girl is that the opera glasses are his. In any case they're probably useless: but the men certainly aren't going to let her mess around with the imposing -- dare one say phallic? -- brass telescope that lies on the table beside them.
The picturesque Thameside shacks with their jumble of balconies and flagpoles -- all rendered here in lovely shades of grey -- are, alas, long gone, along with the square-riggers and their extravagantly bearded captains.