Friday, August 24, 2012

Secretaries Of The Cabinet, by Sir John Stanton Ward

Secretaries Of The Cabinet, by Sir John Stanton Ward. National Portrait Gallery, Britain. Something about this portrait is really humorous to me and I cannot put my finger on what it is. Any ideas? [Image: A scattered group of old white men in dark suits in a lavish neoclassical room with high ceilings and mahogany brown walls. Some sit, some stand; they appear to be debating something.]
ETA: Thanks to prodding from "lkspr," I realized that they look like serious little statesmen in an aquarium, which is what had appealed to my sense of humor.

3 comments:

lkspr said...

Maybe it's the third guy in the triangular composition, the guy on the right. The other two look stable; he looks like a caveman in a suit. He's also a little too far to the right, scowling, as if ready to tear the other two to bits. Not funny exactly, but weird.

Ciana Pullen said...

Could be, lkspr. That, and the two dudes in the front who are totally oblivious to him.

Ciana Pullen said...

Now that I'm thinking about it the odd low angle of the viewer and the inclusion of the ceiling frieze, coupled with the performative stances and unawareness of the subjects, creates the feeling of viewing tiny British statesmen in an aquarium.