Saturday, 6 June 2015
I swear, by Zeus and by Toutatis, that I have not added Monty Python-style eyes to the head on the left, although I have reversed it laterally. It's a bust in the Ashmolean, and it really does look like that:
Classic! And proof that moronic expressions are cultural, and not universal. To a Roman, this man is probably conveying stoic fortitude in the face of an unfortunate toga mulfunction, or perhaps that is the standard Latin lover's longing look of lust. Odi et amo, baby...
Moreover, the latest thinking seems to be that those classically cool and restrained marble and bronze sculptures were all actually rather gaudily painted up, so that a temple like the Parthenon would have resembled nothing so much as a fairground ride. Next thing, they'll be telling us that togas had zips (conceivably the best explanation for our friend above's expression).
In the interests of full disclosure and general enlightenment, I thought you'd want to know that the pillars and architraves in this image are derived from the eroded yellow lines painted on the kerbside of a favourite Southampton carpark.