"They would laugh in the face of today's metrosexual man and what he considers to be looking after his appearance. They'd scoff at David Beckham in his sarong. When it comes to male preening and blurring the gender divide, it was a group of young British aristocrats who led the way in the mid-1700s. Known as the Macaronis, they shocked and scandalised - and revelled in doing so."
Society of Dilettanti, by Sir Joshua Reynolds between 1777-79. a young man holds a gem up to the light and in doing so makes a circle with his thumb and forefinger that his fellow Dilettanti would have recognised at once as a rude gesture signifying the female sex. Though the study of ancient gems seems like an innocent enough activity, among those that we know circulated among the Dilettanti was at least one cameo carved with a Dionysian orgy “not fit for a lady”.