Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pun and Punctuation

Recently, I came across this fascinating Magritte-esque image in my book, The Dog: 5000 Years of the Dog in Art.

It’s a little play on the French words for au petit chien (to the little dog)= opticien.  Get it? 
Okay, it’s not so punny, but it was rather the artist that impressed me: Jean-Leon Gerome!
Gerome, whose major works can be found here, was a great painter in the Academic style and known for his historic and Orientalist works.  I knew him as the painter of images like these:  
Pygmalion and Galatea

Snake Charmer

Pollice Verso

So, does the first image, basically an advertisement, well outside of what I know to be his artistry, and reportedly admired by a young Dali, detract from his achievement?
And what about Jane Austen? In today’s Guardian, Jane was outed as having been a veritable libertine with dashes!  Does this tarnish her literary genius?
In both cases, I’m going to have to say, nah.
The incredible value of their respective bodies of work remain to speak for themselves.  

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