http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8444202.stm (I mean, does that link look boring, or does that link look boring, compared to 'do your clicky thing here for a dead fascinating story about the Mona Lisa's cholesterol'?)
Anyway, doesn't this diagnosing of medical conditions in famous paintings take the romance out of art just a tad?........
'Darling, I am so looking forward to our weekend in Paris, making violent love to each other in a hotel with silken-papered walls and glittering chandeliers. Shall we breakfast on oysters and champagne in the morning? And then shall we stroll hand in hand round the art galleries? Shall we go to the Louvre and gaze in wonder at that painting of that woman whose arteries were lined with fatty tissue and who has a lump in her eyelid?'
'Oh, yes, my love. And why don't we make a pact together to celebrate our love by visiting all the famous paintings in the world? We could view Botticelli's 'The Birth of Venus'. I love that one.'
'You mean the one where she's got heartburn and is holding her hand to her chest? And a suppurating pustule at the top of her left thigh which she's covering up with her hair?'
'Yes! Such a work of art! Then, what about seeing Titian's 'Bacchus and Ariadne'? I love the way Ariadne is scratching her haemorrhoids. I just have to gaze at that one for AGES.'
'Oh darling! Then after that, we could go and visit Holman Hunt's 'The Awakening Conscience'....
'You mean, that one where they're all so OBVIOUSLY suffering from anaemia?'
'Oh, yes, they're so romantic and pale and white. I find looking at their iron-deficient red cell platelet-lacking bodies just so, like, inspirATIONAL.'
'My sweetheart, I love it when we talk about art together. It makes me feel so ... so .... in fact, I can hardly breathe. I feel quite faint. In fact .... ' [slumps]
'Darling? Darling? Wake up! Darling! ........................................................................ Oh, bother. She's dead. And she looks so lovely, just lying there, blue-lipped and blank-eyed and all puffy round the neckline. I must fetch my paintbrush.'