Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Lookit: I found my painting

See this picture? I did, once upon a time on a wall in The Louvre. It's getting nigh on ten years now since I first saw this image. I looked at it and laughed and thought, that must be a cool dude.

About a year later I thought, I should buy a print of that painting, only I couldn't remember who painted it. I knew it was called Self Portrait but couldn't remember the painter's name. I thought I remembered he was Italian.

Want to know how many Italians painted something called "Self Portrait?" Want to know how many are hanging in The Louvre? I don't remember. It was too many.

I've often thought of calling The Louvre and describing the picture and asking them if they know which one I'm talking about. It's a pretty memorable painting, n'est pas? But I never got around to it.

I've Googled "Italian painting finger pointing" "self portrait guy pointing" "pointing painting" and any other assortment of phrases. I've painstakingly pored through all the paintings posted on The Louvre website and searched through every art website I could find trying to find this painting. I want it to hang in my house. Maybe in my bathroom, maybe in the living room; I haven't decided yet. But I knew that even if I had to fly back to France and walk through every single room, I would find this painting.

I mean, it's a super awesome painting. Look at that guy. Don't you want to hang out with that dude? Old ladies must have hated his guts.

Then yesterday on a message board someone posted this picture with some words over it, no doubt part of some meme I never saw before. My jaw fell completely to the floor. I frantically messaged the guy: Where did you get that omg holy shit.

Turns out, there's a whole series of Zazzle products with this picture on it. So here I was, spending whole hours of my life trying to find this painting, and there are people out there with it on a mug.

He's not Italian at all. His name is Joseph Ducreux and he was a French baron. He also painted a picture of himself yawning, a painting that now hangs at The Getty of all places. I've been to the Getty. I bet I walked right past whatever room it's in.

I am filled with glee over this discovery. Now if I can just find a print of Théophile Steinlen's Apotheosis of Cats, my dream art collection will be complete.


  1. you mean that's actually a real painting?! I've seen that before and I always thought it was made in photoshop cos I'd never seen an old painting... like THAT.

  2. Not only is it real, but it is indeed on display in The Louvre. For true.

  3. You know, the Louvre was so overwhelming for me I was UNDERWHELMED. Sure, I saw the Mona Lisa and what not, but I never had the time to find any treasures of my own, like you did.

    At least there's good museums here in the good ol' U. S. of A.(The Met in NYC is my personal favorite) to hang at.

    LOVE good museums.

  4. that's pretty fucking cool! Very Vegas! I'm taking him to my blog and putting words in his mouth.
    See ya Sunday!

    That painting is a screenplay waiting to happen.
    That guy is an 17th century naturalist, come back to England after ears in Africa. He has taken on the traits of the animals (like this: -he just shows up, tells the girl 'this is what an ostrich would do' and does the dance) and the ladies of the court fall like dominoes and lots of sexy sex.

  6. Don't you just love little life surprises like that? It sort of takes me back to magical land of childhood. Anything is possible!

  7. Dude, Sweet, Dude, Sweet, Dude...

  8. For some reason the look on his face terrifies me.

    But I love the feeling I've finding something I've lost or forgotten or couldn't find. Almost makes losing/forgetting totally worth it. So congrats!


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