Thursday, August 7, 2008

George Washington's crotch and other curiosities

I am proud to present my 200th post on this here blog, entitled "George Washington's crotch and other curiosities." You're welcome.

George Washington - what do we know? He chopped down the cherry tree (not really) and he threw a dollar across the Delaware (unlikely) and later he crossed the Delaware (maybe to retrieve the dollar?) and he had wooden teeth (true) and he married for money (true) and he was lucky as hell to win the war (true.) But today we ask, did he have a deformed groinal area? Was he, in fact, engaged with something less than a full set of equipment? Were his legs on backwards?

I'm not sure just what the heck was going on, but I enter as evidence this photo of a portrait that hangs in Faneuil Hall in Boston. (There may be copies in other galleries, too.) It's called "George Washington at Dorchester Heights" and was painted in 1806 or 1777, depending on what internet source you want to use.

We see the familiar face with the wig, the long nose, the long neck, the colonial military garb, the jacket buttoned high and exposing the waistcoat, and then the --- what the...? What's going on with George's crotch? Let's take a closer look.

Hmmm, something is not quite right here. Where is George's junk? These guys liked to wear the tight pants, and since he was the father of the country and all, we should see some evidence of fecundity, don't you think? The more you look at this (and don't look at it TOO much, you pervert) the more it looks like a badly-drawn female groin, or even an emaciated butt - but it sure don't look like this man is a man. Did he pose with his pants on backwards?

And that's not all: consider also GW's partner in this portait. Common enough that a military man would stand aside his faithful steed. But how many times have you seen a revered figure side by side with a horse's ass?I am sure you will remember from "Art Appreciation" that it was Gilbert Stuart who made the most famous portrait of Washington, from which the image on the dollar bill was derived. Stuart painted just about everybody who would stand still back in those days, and is the creator of this "man with horse" portrait above. Did Stuart have a peeve on for George? Slow pay for earlier paintings? Wanted to be an ambassador and never got the call? Got cheated by George at the poker table? Perhaps we shall never know. But I don't think you have to be Dan Brown to decipher the symbolism in this art work - Stuart was saying "George Washington has no balls and is comparable to a horse' ass."

Either that or he was just a really bad painter.


Anonymous said...

no rationalizing can beat a simple interpretation...he did not have balls !

Anonymous said...

poor horse..must have been painful.

Anonymous said...

This was fun. I was looking for Stuart painting to show first graders for art today. Can't show this one now.