Monday, 16 August 2010

Whistler's mother...and the doctor's front door!

Portraits, painting and art are a recurring theme throughout 'A Dead Man's Debt', which put me in mind for today's blog of the true story of the famour artist Whistler, his pet dog and an eminent throat specialist.

Famous American artist James Whistler (1843 - 1903) created such masterpieces as 'Whistler's Mother,' (immortalised in the first Mr Bean movie!) and was also a great animal lover. He owned a tortoiseshell cat and also a french poodle, of whom he was particularly fond. When his favourite became unwell Whistler called on the services of a distinguished ENT specialist. The doctor arrived, but on finding his patient was canine rather than human, was distinctly un-amused. Only in view of his client's fame, reluctantly the doctor agreed to examine the animal and prescribed a cure.

The next day Whistler recieved an urgent summons from the eminent specialist. Thinking it was to do with his beloved dog, Whistler dropped everything and hastened over. The Doctor greeted him warmly with the following words;
'Good morning Mr Whistler, now I needed to see you about the painting of my front door.'

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