decline and fall of practically everybody
A Humbling View of the People that Made History

Our resident Internet Scout Rick Traum came up with another jewel he found on line to share with us. His latest discovery is this 2006 painted canvas in the style of Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band by 3 Chinese Painters, that is now digitized with the life stories of 103 historical and contemporary celebrities, some of mankind’s defining landmarks such as the Pyramids and Stonehenge, important book and cultural references and even lolkat (“Im riding in a kamel pockits”) and the Ford T model.

This painting tough truly remarkable in its execution, is even more interesting by its associations. You will find Chairman Mao, enslaver of all the Chinese people sit beside Abe Lincoln who abolished slavery in America. Dr. Jack Kevorkian shares a table with Sigmund Freud; Marilyn Monroe is surrounded by Arafat, Brando, Fidel, Lao Tzu, Goethe and Che Guavara, but none of these guys have eyes for her. Actually she is kind of hidden behind a camel’s ass, while the camel has a humorist link to a series of people who became celebrities in spite of looking like a camel.

Another more disturbing discovery is the way Robert Oppenheimer, father of the Atom Bomb, looks at Elvis the King and how Stalin has Leonardo da Vinci’s attention. George Bush junior is depicted famously off track with pointing his spyglass in the opposite direction of where Osama bin Laden is looking at a procession of 72 Virgin behind George’s back. In 2006 their history and fall from the front pages of World News had not been written yet.
As a matter of fact this painting immediately reminded me of Will Cuppy’s 1949 novel “The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody”, a book that should be in everyone’s library.

The Painting was created by 3 Taiwanese painters, whom painted themselves into the corner of this illustrious dinner party, watching from the top of the Great Wall of China with Durante degli Alighieri – Dante reading from his famous works. It is titled “Discussing The Divine Comedy With Dante”, another book that should be in your library, and seems to be a metaphor for today’s celebrity-obsessed world.

When you click on the link , a big version of the computerized painting appears. Run your cursor over the people.
The program tells you who they are – every single one of them.
Now click on a person and you obtain the individual’s life history. Fascinating… and it can keep you busy for hours! If I would home school my children, I’d have a great tool to keep them interested in learning.
But for you who need your daily shot of tabloid celebrities, don’t bother trying to find Paris Hilton or the Decline and Fall of the Kardashians; they didn’t make the cut.

Here is the list in case you can’t find one. Enjoy!

Publisher’s Note: Sorry for the fact that Sarah Palin’s face keeps coming up on the Painting Page, endorsing Newt Gingrich. Definitely a distraction from another “celebrity” who thankfully did not make the cut and another one who hopefully never will. Dinner with Celebrities
1. Bill Gates, Microsoft founder
2. Homer, Greek poet
3. Cui Jian, Chinese singer
4. Vladimir Lenin, Russian revolutionary
5. Pavel Korchagin, Russian artist
6. Bill Clinton, former U.S. President
7. Peter the Great, Russian leader
8. Margaret Thatcher
9. Bruce Lee, martial arts actor
10. Winston Churchill
11. Henri Matisse, French artist
12. Genghis Khan, Mongolian warlord
13. Napoleon Bonaparte, French military leader
14. Che Guevara, Marxist revolutionary
15. Fidel Castro, former Cuban leader
16. Marlon Brando, actor
17. Yasser Arafat, former Palestinian leader
18. Julius Caesar, Roman emperor
19. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault, WW II U.S. aviator
20. Luciano Pavarotti, singer
21. George W. Bush, former U.S. President
22. The Prince of Wales
23. Liu Xiang, Chinese Olympic hurdler
24. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General
25. Zhang An, the painter
26. Mikhail Gorbachev, former Russian leader
27. Li Tiezi, the painter
28. Dante Alighieri, Florentine poet
29. Dai Dudu, the painter
30. Pele, Brazilian footballer
31. Guan Yu, Chinese warlord
32. Ramses II, Egyptian pharaoh
33. Charles De Gaulle, French general
34. Albert Nobel, Swedish chemist who founded the Nobel prizes
35. Franklin Roosevelt, former U.S. President
36. Ernest Hemingway, American novelist
37. Elvis Presley, American singer
38. Robert Oppenheimer, U.S. physicist
39. William Shakespeare, playwright
40. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer
41. Steven Spielberg, U.S. film director
42. Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter
43. Marie Curie, physicist and pioneer of radioactivity
44. Zhou Enlai, first Premier of the People’s Republic of China
45. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, German writer
46. Laozi, Chinese philosopher
47. Marilyn Monroe, American actress
48. Salvador Dali, Spanish painter
49. Dowager Cixi, former ruler of China
50. Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister
51. Qi Baishi, Chinese painter
52. Qin Shi Huang, former Chinese Emperor
53. Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic missionary
54. Song Qingling, Chinese politician
55. Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet
56. Otto Von Bismarck, German statesman
57. Run Run Shaw, Chinese media mogul
58. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher
59. Audrey Hepburn, actress
60. Ludwig Van Beethoven, German composer
61. Adolf Hitler, Nazi leader
62. Benito Mussolini, Italian fascist leader
63. Saddam Hussein, former Iraq president
64. Maxim Gorky, Russian writer
65. Sun Yat-Sen, Chinese revolutionary
66. Den Xiaoping, Chinese revolutionary
67. Alexander Pushkin, Russian author
68. Lu Xun, Chinese writer
69. Joseph Stalin, former Soviet Union leader
70. Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian painter
71. Karl Marx, German philosopher
72. Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher
73. Abraham Lincoln, former U.S. President
74. Mao Zedong, Chinese dictator
75. Charlie Chaplin, British actor
76. Henry Ford, founder of Ford motor company
77. Lei Feng, Chinese soldier
78. Norman Bethune, Canadian physician
79. Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist
80. Juan Antonio Samaranch, former International Olympic Committee president
81. Chiang Kai Shek, Chinese general
83. Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist
84. Li Bai, Chinese poet
82. The Queen
85. Corneliu Baba, Romanian painter
86. Auguste Rodin, French artist
87. Dwight Eisenhower, former U.S. President
88. Michael Jordan, U.S. basketball player
89. Hideki Tojo, former Japanese Prime Minister
90. Michelangelo, Italian Renaissance painter
91. Yi Sun-Sin, Korean naval commander
92. Mike Tyson, American boxer
93. Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister
94. Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author
95. Shirley Temple, American actress
96. Albert Einstein, German physicist
97. Moses, Hebrew religious leader
98. Confucius, Chinese philosopher
99. Ghandi, Indian spiritual leader
100. Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch painter
101. Toulouse Lautrec, French painter
102. Marcel Duchamp, French artist
(Osama bin Laden, founder of al Qaeda, is behind George W. Bush, no 21)