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mhoutzager's picture

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Some senior vice president at Disney said it best:

'Tale as old as time,true as it can be, barely even friends, then somebody bends, unexpectedly' (from Beauty and the Beast)

Except in this case, the tale as old as time is that the lady making eyes at the lecher with the gold is surreptitiously picking his pocket, and passing the goods to her accomplice. Just to make super sure everyone understands what is going on, the accomplice is licking his chops greedily.

Of course what the lecher is doing with his left hand is NOT OK! Also, speaking of hands, she should wash hers before touching his face.

For history nerds, the official National Gallery description of this painting also includes a poem, composed not by Disney, but by a long forgotten Flemish poet who perhaps inspired the painting:

'A rover—short, old, and free
With purse running over with gold,
Took a Venusberg lass for a spree
Who took clients like him in her hold.
That lass has her loose, lowly wiles,
Undoing his purse with its glut
While showing a face full of smiles
Like the grin of a flat halibut.'