top of page
Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Before & After

Research Task

I decided to look at the image by Robert Seymour, Night and Morning (1798-1836) The Stapleton Collection for this research task. This image instantly made me think of the medieval memes that would float around internet, using old peculiar paintings as the base to their jokes. Perhaps this was the original concept behind memes, and the comedy that is present is still relevant today, captured perfectly in the before and after. It has a real weirdness in the illustrated style which is very vintage and adds to the humour. The use of devil like creatures torturing the member of the party that doesn't know their limits (we've all been there) the next morning to suggest a raging hangover.

Robert Seymour, Night and Morning (1798-1836) The Stapleton Collection.

● What happened between the first and the second pictures?

The illustration shows the night of a social evening that involves drinking, heavy drinking by the looks of it, and the morning after where the hangover is clearly causing torturous revenge.

● Was it an event that took place over time, or are the two pictures

‘symbolic’ of something bigger?

It appears to be an event that took place over time. We are shown a pleasant start to an evening with a gentleman raising his glass to almost toast their social gathering, perhaps a reunion of old friends. The clock in the background showing just after 10 shows time exists in this realm, and that it could very well be the beginning of a long night. Or a snapshot of the rowdy member of the group raising a glass as he entertains the friends with a terrible joke, showing signs of being drunk already. The event appears to be a heavy night of drinking as the second image describing the morning after shows two devil creatures giving the repercussions.

● What is the mood or atmosphere of the story? Is it meant to be serious,

funny, scary, political, or something else?

It is a humorous illustration with comedy being the main element. It is certainly an original meme before they became social trends in the digital world, using before and after as the joke. It sets up the joke and delivers a very relatable punchline.


bottom of page