Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Men Who Read

Is there anything hotter than a man who reads? ALA was in Chicago this past week, and I was able to spend a few hours at the Art Institute. I steered myself away from their astonishing collection of Impressionist paintings, and headed for my faves, the Northern Renaissance masters, but on the way, I turned into a small gallery and beheld....HIM.

Fray Hortensio Felix Paravicino. He's usually in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, for those of you who follow such things. But there he was, in his intellectual and impatient and dark-eyed glory, waiting for me in Chicago.

Don't you just love that El Greco caught him looking up from not one book -- but two! I picture it this way: El Greco walks into Fray H's cell, says, You have to have your picture painted. Abbot's orders. And Fray Hortensio is like: I'll give you a minute to paint me, because yes, I am absolutely gorgeous, but I have got higher things on my mind. I am a 17th-century priest, after all. I am composing sonnets! Writing music! I am reading two books -- at the same time! I'm comparing texts! I am cross-referencing!

To this I say, a scant 400 years later: Let me interrupt your studies, Fray Hortensio! Please!

I flatter myself to think that if I'd encountered guy at the Hungarian Pastry Shop when I was in my salad days...well, he might not have hearkened to his calling. Actually, in that scenario, he would have ignored me for beautifully-proportioned lithe earth-mother of a waitress who would quickly have taken his order. But enough.

The point of this is that men who read are sexy. Especially if they have a Chicago connection. Like this guy...

...and my husband. But that's a blog for another day.


Yat-Yee said...

Just one book, though?

Rick Daley said...

"Is there anything hotter than a man who reads?"

I think the next degree of heat would be a man who reads in bed.

I SHOULD have a Chicago connection. Lots of them, in fact. I should be able to walk into the mayor's office and plop down at his desk. But alas, my branch of the tree sprouts from a different trunk.

Yours truly,

Richard J. Daley

Nancy said...

Oh, yeah. I have always loved this painting. I didn't know it was on loan to Chicago!

-Nancy Werlin

brattcat said...

I think if FHFP had encountered you in that pastry shop he would have marched straight back to his cell and donned another hairshirt. As for that other guy with the Chicago connection...he's smokin'.

Paul Ă„ertker said...

What about boys who read? Is there anything hot for them to read? Fra Lippo Lippi is going to be a hard sell for 11-year olds! |:~)

Haste yee back ;-) said...

Chicago connections...

Spent a year and some at the Univ of Ill med school, ya know, like Cook County Hospital. (Ever seen County's emergency room on Fri, Sat night, amazing, like a war zone)! Read lots of text books, if that counts... dropped out to become an artist. Hey, it was the 60's!!

Spent every Christmas in Chicago with Grandparents from ages 5-16.
Grandfather was an Orthopedic Surgeon, lived across from the Museum of Science and Industry... loved that Museum. (They were the civilized side of the family).

Hmmm... took me back through the years, ya did!

Haste yee back ;-)

Brenda Bowen said...

Paul -- Try HERBERT'S WORMHOLE by Peter Nelson and Rohitash Rao for your boys who read. Et bon voyage!

Elizabeth said...

You know what they say about men with big books.

Haste yee back ;-) said...

Elizabeth... Big Books = Large Print = ???, Bad Eyes?

Haste yee back ;-)

J.Tuttle said...

This post made me laugh out loud. I feel lucky to be a Chicagoan!