Art You Should Know #3

Museum Nerd
Nov 21, 2012 10:49PM

As 18th -century American painting goes, this is as good as it gets. It actually depicts a true story! Watson was 14-year-old kid who inanely went for a little skinny dip in the Havana (Cuba) Harbor and got his leg bitten off by a shark. As you can see, some kindly folks came to his rescue and he was saved before they devoured him.

Nota bene! There are two versions of this painting which are almost identical. The original shown here is at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. and the copy he made for himself is at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

NB #2 ~ While Copley obscures the youth's phallus, he (over?)compensates with some giant architectural phalli in the background.

Museum Nerd