Sunday, May 02, 2010

Do You Need Some Tweezers to Put That Thing Away?

Another from the LACMA trip. Apologies to the easily offended, but my sense of humor never really evolved beyond the sixth-grade level, especially in contexts where I’m expected to act intelligent, polite or in some other way grown-up. But can I please be forgiven for finding Guido Reni’s Bacchus and Ariadne suggestive and therefore hilarious?

Seriously, look at the position and pose of Ariadne’s right hand. Then look at her facial expression. That’s not coyness. That’s not curiosity. That’s boredom bordering on revulsion. And then look at Bacchus. Look at it. Just look. Could this really be interpreted by any viewer in any time period differently? Or, at least, would viewers in 1620 have been able to interpret it in the way I am? Could Reni have not anticipated how his depiction of this interaction could be open to interpretation?


  1. Hey, that's what too much wine does to your genitals.

  2. I think she's seeking a gratuity for allowing him to stare at her profile, or else she's embarrassed at asking him for the cure to her hair-that-grows-like-a-fungus condition.

    The impressively calm sea could be meant to represent the untorridness of their mutual passion.

  3. Nathan: The whiskeydick theory had occurred to em as well.

    Stan: That's a good point, actually. Now that you mention it, the background does seem especially plain and flat. Hmm.

  4. Maybe it's not a sea but a mural — the seventeenth-century equivalent of someone posing in pretence before a large ad for a tropical island. There's also an intriguing rings of stars, like a vaccination mark, in the upper right of the sky. It could mean anything.

  5. Very funny stuff.
    Based on these two images:

    I have made this one:

    seemed like a fitting caption.