La Cigale (The Grasshopper)
The National Gallery of Victoria had been trying to buy Chloé from Young and Jackson’s for years.The pub was being as coy as the lady herself and refused to come to the table. Every few years the NGV would make another clumsy advance and Young and Jackson would laugh, toss its hair and saunter away. This went on and on. The NGV got sadder and sadder as the years went by.
The Felton Bequest (FB) was one of the NGV’s besties and knew how much the they wanted Chloé.
One day the Felton Bequest sat down with a glass of wine and a bowl of thinking nachos. How could they cheer up their buddy, since getting this particular girl was obviously impossible? They considered chocolate, ponies, portable rainbows, torturing the the owner of the Young and Jackson, a make-over session, and a make-out session but nothing seemed good enough.
The NGV continued to mope.
The Felton Bequest started to get really irritated with NGV’s attitude, but, being besties, they still wanted the make the NGV feel better rather than snapping “Oh my god, will you just move on already!” So they decided that, being that there were always more fish in the sea, and paintings on the market, they would find a replacement.
They found Chloé’s sister in 2005. The sultry La Cigale was in a private collection (Mr A. Nonymous of Melbourne was moving to a smaller estate and no longer had room for a woman with such a big personality) The Felton Bequest decided to buy her and set her up with NGV.
It was lust at first sight and they’ve been together ever since! The best part is that now that they have Chloé’s sister there is a greater chance that Young and Jackson will lend their half of the duo to the gallery- they’ll get her in the end even if it is only for a temporary exhibition.
On a personal note- there is nothing I do not love about this painting. From her incredibly forthright expression down to her slightly splayed toes. I love the way she stands, her finger in her mouth, staring at the viewer, her arm squashing one of her breasts. I love the way the rag wrapped around her arm is flicked by the wind. I love the blank column behind her, the tall branches, the dancing leaves, and that little hint of wintery and cold blue sky.
I may even like her better than Chloé, except, well, they don’t serve beer in the nineteenth century gallery.