Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Artist Sketchbook: The Wrestlers' Hold

This illustration depicts three young athletes engaged in some rather interesting wrestling maneuvers.  Thanks to the box on the shelf (translated to read 'Bath Salt') we know that the artist was probably German and that the room was where athletes cleaned and prepared for competitions.  It was a state-of-the-art locker room for men and included tiled floors, scrub brushes and rubbing oils.  The modern pedestal "flush-down" toilet had first been demonstrated by Frederick Humpherson of the Beaufort Works 1885 and fits within the estimated time frame for when this art was likely created.  That device on the wall with the rubber flared end would have been an enema, and thanks to this illustration, it's very easy to imagine a young athlete laying on the bed while another assists with the enema insertion.  This was an era when enemas were believed to be therapeutic and rejuvenating.   Unfortunately, we don't get to see the face of the gent who is being held down, his curly head being locked firmly between the muscular thighs of that smiling man, who is also holding down his hands crossed behind his back.  The other gent seems to have decided that a different sort of anal insertion was called for.  Looking closer, it appears that the gent at the center of attention has spent some male seed on the pillow. 

There appears to be some disagreement if this is actually a 1900-era water color work of art or perhaps something created later intended to pay homage to an earlier time. 

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