Great Grandson of Ask Cool Daddy
Dear Cool Daddy: I remember when I was 12 or 13, I developed this unexpected interest in classical artists, especially their nude paintings. The above was one of my favorites, but what exactly is going on here, anyway? …from Dante, Pismo Beach
Dear Dante: I’m with you, bro…I know the feeling. For all the guys who brag about how they would buy Playboy or Cavalier magazines and hide them under their mattress, there were many of us growing up in households where that just wasn’t feasible, so it was catch as catch can…if you get my drift, and I think you do. The work you refer to is by Peter Paul Rubens and is titled The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus, completed in 1618. Mind you, that’s “rape” in the old-fashioned sense of to carry off or abduct. It’s from the Latin rapere, to seize, which is also the root of such words as raptor and rapt.
Now the ladies in the picture are Phoebe and Hilæira, the so called Leucippedes, or “white horse daughters,” their father being Leucippus, king of a cult of horse worshippers. The gentlemen are Castor and Pollux, the Gemini Twins. Their marriage by force to the sisters provoked a feud between them and their wives’ cousins, who were their suitors also, and various fevered and bloody misadventures ensued. I might also mention…hold on to your linen…that this painting is life-sized…yikes!
But for all you art lovers, my favorite was this one…The Toilet of Venus by Diego Velazquez…that’s “toilet” in the sense of dressing and grooming oneself…ahem. When they sang about Dobie Gillis wanting a girl who’s “dreamy…creamy…” this image springs to mind. But you know, it was any port in a storm in those days, so even this chintzy little ad from my dad’s Popular Science Monthly held much interest for my incipient libido.
It’s certainly amazing what a difference the stroke of the pen can make…if you compare and contrast these 2 images, perhaps you’ll see what I mean…
…and while I’m thinking of it….
Dear Cool Daddy: Please go on… from Walt, Whippany, NJ
Dear Walt: Don’t mind if I do. That’s Vikki Dougan, pin-up model and sometime actress who caused quite a stir in the late 50s and early 60s. She was nicknamed “The Back”…
…and it’s said that Jessica in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was based on her hour-glass contours. She even inspired a tribute from the Limeliters, who sang: “Please turn your back on me…” (I checked Youtube, but sadly struck out.) But she clearly had more going for her than just a gluteal…some might say callipygian…cleft, as seen in this oddly posed cover of an early 60s cheesecake rag…
The optimistic subtitle of this publication was “From handshake to boudoir…” Yup, a true gentleman always shakes her hand first. Priceless.
shameless…um…suggestions, shall we say…
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