Sunday, November 22, 2009
In order to add lustre to Riddled, to burnish its FECK reputation with some BUGGERYBOLLOCKS refinement and decorum, Another Kiwi has kindly invited me to grace it with an occasional SODBUCKETS contribution.
Nevertheless, I am reluctant to let myself be typecast as someone who dwells on one or two obsessions, like trebuchets, or obscure woodcuts. In fact it was just a scratch from a splinter, not a cut at all. The label said it was a 'slippery elm' so I thought I wouldn't need SHUT UP SMUT
The painting above is "A Sick Child brought into the Temple of Aesculapius" by John William Waterhouse (1877). Pay particular attention to the offering over on the right, by the plinth, in the form of a bowl of fruit:
Of course you've seen the problem. It contains a pineapple. Pineapples are a Brazilian fruit, not known in the classical world. In fact they were only introduced into England in the early 19th century when the architects of the Lambeth Bridge (then under construction) offered a prize for the most interesting new fruit to place as a finial on the tops of the obelisks flanking the bridge. A host of explorers were inspired to set out and scour the world and bring back an agricultural tribute to the young Queen Victoria. The winner was a certain John Tradescant (who was named after the weed Tradescantia fluminensis or "Wandering willy", under circumstances that are quite a story in their own right, but I refuse to let myself be sidetracked). Photographic evidence here.
This means that the painting is a FORGERY.
When I informed its previous owners of this fact, they were mortified to have let themselves be taken in by such a transparent deception, and they allowed me to take it off their hands for a nominal sum of money, as long as I joined them in hushing up the story. Please don't bruit this around.
Normal disturbing-imagery service will be resumed as soon as possible.