WTF Art History

For everyone interested in art history who has asked, WTF?

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  1. There’s Something about Penelope @mfaboston

    Penelope, wife of Odysseus, totally looks like Cameron Diaz in There’s Something About Mary!!

    Circle of the Maître des Très Petites Heures d'Anne de Bretagne (Jean d'Ypres?), Penelope at Her Loom, c. 1500, wool and silk.  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Cameron Diaz in There's Something About MaryCircle of the Maître des Très Petites Heures d’Anne de Bretagne (Jean d’Ypres?), Penelope at Her Loom, c. 1500, wool and silk.  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Cameron Diaz in There’s Something About Mary

    In the film, Ben Stiller’s character Ted neglects to notice some man juice in his hair after an impromptu self-pleasure session in the bathroom.  Mary (Cameron Diaz), thinking the white substance to be hair gel, applies some to her own hair, thus the strange hairdo above!

    Penelope’s story is much more tame.  After years of awaiting the return of her husband, the men of Ithaca insist that Odysseus is dead and that she remarry.  She agrees but only once she finishes weaving a shroud for her father-in-law.  Each night, Penelope unravels the shroud from her loom and begins again, thus she will never have to remarry.  Clever right?  Be sure to check out the tapestry on the MFA Boston’s website, since it’s not currently on view (they have a nice zoom feature).

    Circle of the Maître des Très Petites Heures d'Anne de Bretagne (Jean d'Ypres?), Penelope at Her Loom, c. 1500, wool and silk.  Museum of Fine Arts, BostonCircle of the Maître des Très Petites Heures d’Anne de Bretagne (Jean d’Ypres?), Penelope at Her Loom, c. 1500, wool and silk.  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    Penelope’s fate at the loom could have been avoided if her husband, Odysseus, had had a @SassyGayFriend.  See what could have eventually motivated Odysseus to return home to his wife in the epic YouTube video of our Sassy Gay Friend here.

    And for those wondering about the inscription at the bottom of the tapestry, it says PENELOPE COIVNX SEPER VLIXIS ERO meaning “I, Penelope, will always be Odysseus’ wife.”  How charming is that?

    BTW, you can actually see the opening image in this post on the website Totally Looks Like!!!

     
     
    1. wtfarthistory posted this