The BeagleSword was dichromatic
and the rabbit hole was instructive in romance.
You know how Wizzo follows the great auction houses of
the world and tries to predict what has been tragically undervalued?
The painting above will be auctioned by Skinner in Boston
on September 9, 2011. Wizzo is convinced this painting has been
Painted late in the life of the artist who died in 1902, this deeply
mystical rendering of the head of Christ seems an unexpected subject
for Thomas Nast, the most famous political cartoonist in the history
of our nation. The painting was purchased by the famous J. P. Morgan
in 1908; donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1910, then
returned by the Metropolitan Museum to the Morgan family in 1928.
Thomas Nast gave our culture some of its most enduring icons:
the Democratic Donkey, the Republican Elephant, Uncle Sam and
Santa Claus. What caused him at age 60 to paint this face of Jesus?
And to use the chiaroscuro style? (front light melding into a dark
background; think Rembrandt’s “Man with a Golden Helmet”
or “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer.)
Financial setbacks caused Thomas Nast to find himself in need of
work in 1902, so his friend Teddy Roosevelt gave him the position
of American Consul in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he died of
yellow fever six months later.
Even without all this amazing history – Thomas Nast, J.P. Morgan,
the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Teddy Roosevelt – this painting
is worth a great deal more than the $25,000 to $35,000 it is
expected to fetch. The opening bid is set at just $13,000.
No, Wizzo isn’t planning to bid on it.
But you should, if you can.