Tag: art history

All real artists get turned into a doll

All real artists get turned into a doll

    I was inspired– negatively, so... unspired?– by the fuss about a recent Frida Kahlo Barbie doll, of which the doll itself was probably the least offensive thing. Yes, it somewhat cleaned and prettied up a woman rightly famous for being a feminist and a communist who was ahead of her time in foregrounding … Continue reading All real artists get turned into a doll

PROBLEM SOLVED

PROBLEM SOLVED

CAREER SUICIDE

Evidently Herbert Draper (1863-1920) was an artist dedicated to solving one of the age-old problems of mankind, i.e. the impossibility of a man getting his end away with a sexy mermaid when she’s a fish from the waist down. Herbert– the dirty perv– provided an ingenious answer: when they emerge from the water their tails turn into legs. Brilliant.

Herbert_James_Draper,_Ulysses_and_the_Sirens,_1909 Herbert Draper, ‘Ulysses and the Sirens’, 1909. Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull.

As the caption says, technically these are sirens rather than mermaids. The picture shows a story from The Odyssey, in which Ulysses has himself tied to the mast of his ship so he can hear the fatal call of the sirens without being lured into wrecking his ship, as was their desire. The crew had their ears stopped with wax. Until their mythology got completely jumbled up with mermaid stories in the middle ages, sirens were originally…

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IT’S A GRAPHIC NOVEL, ACTUALLY

IT’S A GRAPHIC NOVEL, ACTUALLY

CAREER SUICIDE

UtamaroOchiePortrait of the young geisha Ochie from Kitagawa Utamaro’s series Edo’s Celebrated Beauties (circa 1792). She’s reading a kibyoshi (“yellow-covered book”)– thirty or so woodblock printed images hand stitched into paper covers– making this one of the first ever depictions of a teenager reading a comic.

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