Full image caption
May Morning by John Collet. Oil on canvas. The May Day procession includes a milkmaid wearing her garland, a hurdy-gurdy player, a black servant, a soldier and children. The painting May Morning, takes a satirical view of a traditional London May Day procession. The Lord and Lady of May can be seen on the left hand side (the 'Lady' may in fact be a man) and also a rough hurdy-gurdy player and other disreputable characters in the throng. The milkmaid (normally attractive and the centre of attention) is a large girl with crossed eyes, relegated to the back of the procession sporting the customary pyramid of flowers and utensils on her head. A black servant (probably a slave) wearing a livery has joined the group. He is holding a broom, perhaps suggesting that he was sweeping his master's house when the procession went past.
© Museum of London