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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Juggling the Sublime and the Ridiculous

This phrase describes quite a lot of my life, actually. To give one example, my wife and I were in Paris recently. (By the way, we loved it. The French are really sweet people, Paris took our breath away, and we look forward to returning soon.) On our trip, we took the obligatory sweep through the Louvre, trying desperately not to associate the settings with scenes in The DaVinci Code. In a room not far from the Mona Lisa, I ran across this painting:


This is a beautiful painting entitled Les Quatre docteurs de l'Église avec les symboles des quatre Évangélistes (The Four Doctors of the Church with Symbols of the Four Evangelists) by Pier Francesco Sacchi. (I found this image of the original here.)

The picture really struck me with its detail and symbolism, but I must admit that my first thought when I saw it was: "Gosh, it looks like they're at Denny's!"

And as further evidence in support of this hypothesis, I noticed the seeming look of dismay on their faces -- where else, but Denny's? Maybe we should retitle it "Les Quatre docteurs de l'Eglise chez Denny's"? Of course, this is absurd, which is all the more reason that I suspect we will see this in the next Dan Brown novel of conspiracy, intrigue, and disappointing late-night fare. Maybe it will be called "Sacchi & Saatchi: Or, how Medieval Marketing Schemes Hit a Grand Slam."

Apologies to my British readers, for whom the references toDenny's might be a bit obscure. And apologies to everyone else for whom the references are not obscure.

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