Pre-Raphaelite Theatre: Mark Twain's Titian

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Pre-Raphaelite Theatre Guest Collaboration: Babysitting Blues

Mark Twain's Titian's Moses.

Editor's Note: In 1880, Mark Twain published an account of his walking tour of Europe, called A Tramp Abroad. Twain explained that, like many of his contemporaries, he wanted to learn all about Art. In the frontispiece to the 1880 edition, Twain's engraver reproduced one of Twain's favourite paintings, 'Titian's Moses'. The great author praised this work highly.

You'll notice, though, that this work – engraved by Adolphe Francois Pannemaker (1822 – 1900) and based on the famous painting by Paul Delaroche (1797 – 1856), enttitled 'Miriam and Moses', shows striking differences from the original work.

Twain copped to it in a letter to his publisher:

It is a thing which I manufactured by pasting a popular comic picture into the middle of a celebrated Biblical one -– shall attribute it to Titian. It needs to be engraved by a master.

We quote Twain here to prove two things:

  1. Twain was way ahead of the curve when it came to Photoshop.
  2. Great minds think alike.

As the Editor cannot stand to pass up an opportunity to collaborate with the great master, here, then, is our version of 'Titian's Moses'.

Mr Twain, it has been an honour.

Pre-Raphaelite Theatre Archive

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Mark Twain

01.04.13 Front Page

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