Tuesday, April 08, 2008

G F Watts - Tasting the First Oyster B C, c.1884


"It must be understood that this picture was purposely intended to raise a smile. The artist had been accused ot an excess of gravity in his subjects. It was first exhibited at Loverpool in 1884 when an endeavour was made to find in it some serious purpose. In answer to enquiries Mr. Watts write that there was none - to which his correspondent ironically replied that doubtless "BC" was to be interpreted as "Before Clothing"." - Manuscript note by Mrs Watts


It does have to be said that Watt's male figures are all pretty much the same figure, a slightly barrel-chested young man, who is, nonetheless rather sexy in his various incarnations. The slightly cartoonish female figure in this painting is what raises the smile most I think.

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