Those Vermeer Girls…

I wish I had time to just read about all the fascinating things that capture my imagination. The list is endless…

I started looking for pictures of “bawdy wenches” and then “tavern wenches” for a possible post, and then I found myself at a site called “Good Jesuit/Bad Jesuit” that had this wonderful painting by Vermeer called “Officer and Laughing Girl.”

Sometime tavern-keeper Vermeer only sold one painting in his life.

Sometime tavern-keeper Vermeer only sold one painting in his life.

The post at Good Jesuit/Bad Jesuit talks about the connections to China in the paintings of Vermeer. I won’t attempt to summarize; if you’re interested, check out the link! It’s a well-written discussion of a book called Vermeer’s Hat.

Meanwhile, the observation I want to make is this: it said in the New York Times today that in this stressful era of recession, more and more people are enjoying candy—everything from Tootsie Rolls to Gummi Bears—as a way to make themselves feel better as they try to cope. I would like to say that the fascinating tranquillity of the women in Vermeer’s paintings has a similar soothing effect on your Horny Time Traveler…

So here are a couple more Vermeer girls for the road…

You can hear a pin drop...

You can hear a pin drop...

Yes, it’s time to take another break from 2009!

"Ah, Mr. Time Traveler!" she says. "Why don't you join us?"

"Ah, Mr. Time Traveler!" she says. "Why don't you join us?"


Pubic hair, handy in a recession?

As a Horny Time Traveler of long standing, over the decades I have accumulated a number of esoteric books about women through the ages. I confess that I usually just dip into these volumes for strange bits of information, rather than reading them in a thorough or systematic way—much like you’d move from eating Hershey’s Kisses to Reese’s Pieces simply on a whim to snack. For me, curious bits of knowledge are kind of like intellectual bon-bons.

I also like pictures of naked women reading books or periodicals…

Hours of naked reading are good opportunities to stretch long legs!

The other day I came upon my copy of History’s Mistress, by Paula Weideger. It’s actually a selection of entries taken from a huge 1885 German book called Das Weib (Woman), which was an anthropological and enthnographic study of females throughout the world. The original author was a gynecologist, tireless researcher, and man-about-town named Hermann Heinrich Ploss (1819-1885). His book was later updated by one of his colleagues, Dr. Maximilian Bartels; it was finally published in English in 1935, with even more emendations by the 1935 translator, Eric John Dingwall. Then in 1985, the feminist scholar Weideger made a selection of the materials and reinterpreted their meanings through a women’s liberationist looking glass. She seemed amused by the boyish enthusiasm of the original researchers, and likened them to adolescent lads in grade school fascinated by dog-eared copies of National Geographic full of images of bare-breasted native girls. Well, whether the scholars of Das Weib were adolescent-minded or not, those still-eminent male researchers were able to marshal a tremendous amount of interesting material between two covers.

On p. 65 of History’s Mistress, we learn a curious fact about the women of the Bismarck Archipelago…an area described in Wikipedia as “a group of islands off the northeastern coast of New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean and part of Papua New Guinea.”

It seems that according to a researcher named Bassler addressing the Anthropological Society of Berlin, the native women of this area sported very noticeable and thick pubic hair, dyed red, and that…”the women wiped their hands on their pubic hair when they were soiled or damp, as we are accustomed to use towels.”

You'll never think milady's bush is superfluous again!

You'll never think milady's bush is superfluous again!

I bet the devil put them up to it…

A rare medieval image displaying feminine pubic hair. Look closely and you'll see the tendrils on the mound!

An image from 1540 displaying feminine pubic hair, something rarely seen in the art of that time. Look closely and you'll see the tendrils on the mound!

Uh-oh, bad boy…I hope I’m not putting ideas into anybody’s head by unearthing this concept. Let’s pray that in these recessionary times, with much pinching of pennies, this practice is not revived!

But have you checked out the cost of paper towels lately?

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I got the lovely image of a reading girl from Read, Write, Now, another WordPress blog. Check out this link for another nice image of a gal in the buff improving her mind!