Artist or lonely man in woods with paint brush?

Original artists in the brush.

By Catherine Rubino

The Snooze has done extensive research into the lives of women pre-indoor plumbing. As you know, before indoor bathtubs, people bathed in the river. At first, the women were shocked and upset to find Renoir peering at them from behind the bushes as they disrobed. Soon though, they became just plain sick of him and found him annoying.

We uncovered the real bathers conversations from a long lost personal diary written by Marie-Claire Fontaine. Most names have been removed to protect the village women, even though they are all dead by now. Thank you to Sylvie Fontaine for her generous help on this project and for the French-English translations.

Dialogue one:

1: C'est froid.
2: Vitement.
1: Grand mere, regard l'artist!
2: L'artist, encore! Zut alors.

Dialogue two:

1: Salute Katrine!
2: Bonjour Marie-Claire.
1: Ooh. The water is nice today. (looks around) Oh no.
2: What is it?
1: Renoir.
2: In zee bushes again! Eez a pervert.
1: You know, Marie-Claire, I zeen his paintings. He paints me with a paunch.
2: Really? Look at him. I ask you, who has zee paunch?
1: He called it, "The Large Bathers".
2: How dare he. You've got a nice figure.
1: Oil paint adds 20 pounds.
2: I did not know that! Anyway, we all look large without our corset. What does he think? That when we undo our corset, we stay the same size? Why would we wear it?! It's so tight. When I undo my corset, I pour out of it like this bucket of water into the wide stream. Even water needs more room to spread out.
1: These painters. Why can't they be like Monet, nearsighted!

Dialogue three:

Lady 1: Lift your arm.
Lady 2: It's cold.
1: I know, but you need to wash. (lifts arm) Oh dear, when are they going to invent disposable razors?

Monologue one:

1: You know what Albert Wolff said about me in his review? He says, Try to explain to M. Renoir that a woman's torso is not "a mass of decomposing flesh" with those purplish green stains which denote a state of complete putrification in a corpse. Damn that Renoir for painting me while I take my monthly bath.

Renoir's son Jean

Renoir's son Jean was often the subject of Renoir's paintings.

Above is a painting of Renoir's son, Jean. Yes. Renoir's SON Jean.
It looks suspiciously the same as the painting of Renoir's daughter.
And, he's doing needlepoint.

Jean had a particulary difficult childhood. Again, in the translated words of Marie-Claire Fontaine...

He (Jean) was teased mercilessly on the playground.

The kids say:
Jean is a sissy.
His daddy paints fat ladies from the village.
Jean, can't play ball. His dress is too long.

To worsen the matter, Jean had a slight lisp. I over heard him say once, "Daddy, I fell off of the thee thaw. My bow wasth in the way. Pleasth, won't you cuth my hair?!"
Renoir: "No son. Hair is a man's birthright. You have beautiful hair."
Jean: "But daddy, I have thoo much. "I look like a girl."
Renoir: "I like painting girls..."

Read More from the Archive

© February 2001 TheSnooze. All rights reserved.