Edgar Degas. Spartan Girls Provoking Boys. c.1860-62. National Gallery, London.
Sometime last night this blog logged its 100,000th page view. By Internet standards that is a paltry number, but it pleases me in modest ways. Nothing of my making has ever generated 100,000 of anything. No small portion of this attention – 11,407 page views, to be precise – was stimulated by this jpeg image of Degas’s Spartan Girls Provoking Boys, first published on November 15, 2007. It is, by far, the most popular post on the blog. I’d like to think this represents an abiding curiosity about antiquity or Impressionism, and there is some evidence for that. “Spartan” and “Degas” rank among the blog’s top search engine terms. So do “nude” and “boy.” So I suspect the page views also reflect a prurient interest in naked youth.