A speed poem from the Poetry Takeaway, written for Laurence, for whom this is somewhat of an obsession...
The gallery was rammed that day
With Norwich's great and good:
Periwigged and buckles shined,
And an artistic thirst for blood.
"Painting's just too tame, these days -
It's not been fun for ages.
If only these artistic wimps
Were made to fight in cages!"
So Cotman stripped, and John Crome whipped
His face off with barbed wire,
While Cotman pounded Johnny's head
'Til he began to tire.
The rounds went on, and neither John
Had the strength to win 'em,
And neither painter could foresee
The dropkick from Henry Ninham.
Ninham raised his arms and yelled
"You fuckers know I'm well hard!",
But he was felled as his pride swelled:
Hamstrung by Emily Stannard.
The Norwich School was cunting cruel,
With broken teeth and collars,
But all the crowd agreed out loud
That it was better than watercolours.
[I really hope a researching History of Art student finds this...]