Tuesday, March 10, 2015

1077 - "Considerations"

Well, I do apologize for being away from JSVB for so long.  I had to tend to some family business and didn't have much access to the Internet.  

Now I do have the opportunity to skewer a friend, so to get back into the rhythm of creating art, I thought I'd start with something inspirational.

My good friend Earl, while working at his dream job, made a horrible mis-spelling on an important document.  Fortunately, his employers were most forgiving.  I think it's fun to take a poke at him anyways, although it was an easy mistake to make and a difficult one to discover once made.  

Earl was upset with himself after the error.  However, he was not nearly as upset as Robert Barker, who in 1631 published arguably what could be the world's worst typo.

The way I recall the story, Barker was responsible for printing a fancy new version of The King James Bible.  On his way to present Charles I with the first copy, he idly leafed through the book and discovered that in The Ten Commandments, he had spelled "GOD" wrong.  So upset he was with this discovery, he threw himself into the Thames and drowned to death to avoid being chastised by the enraged King. 

Well, that's all a fable.  However, Charles I, the son of James who commissioned the original English Christian Bible, did receive from Robert Barker a copy of the Good Book that had a blunder in The Ten Commandments.  Instead of "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery", the Barker edition omitted the "Not", so that the Commandment read "Thou Shalt Commit Adultery", which is ironic enough considering the state of the British Monarchy.  

Barker was stripped of his appointment to the Royal Printers and fined heavily.  Although he didn't commit suicide, he did turn to a life of crime in a failed attempt to pay off his debts.  Not long later, he died in poverty. 

My first thought was to lampoon Earl by placing him in the place of Marat, who died in his tub from being assassinated while writing.  However, Jacques-Louis David's "Death Of Marat" (1793) was too dark and cryptic.  After all, Earl lives!  So I chose Caravaggio's "San Gerolamo" (1606) as the base, and painted Earl over that.  Although he's showing a lot of skin, I did at least give him a Star Trek captain's toga.