In Hogarth’s March to Finchley (1750), the artist lampoons the British army as they prepare to defend London from the approaching Scottish Army lead by ‘Bonny Prince Charlie’.
Dead center of the painting, a trompe l’oeil has been missed.
It concerns the Catholic woman who seems to be stabbing the soldier who stands some distance behind her. He is in mid-charge, the Union Jack flying behind him, and seems to run his pike through the Jacobite.
Many critics thought she was fighting for the affection of the handsome grenadier who stands right next to her.
This soldier has a facial similarity to the Duke of Cumberland, the general who put down the rebellion. Indeed a copy of his portrait is just visible in the basket of the other woman in the center.
The painting predicts his victory that will put an end to the Jacobite cause.
Indeed, I have also found a depiction of ‘Bonnie’ Prince Charlie in the same painting. He had been identified as a ‘Molly’ by the latest catalogue of Hogarth paintings, having first been noticed in the 1700s as a ‘pretty fellow.’