Now, Clinton actually posed for this painting, so if you're wondering how Shanks wasn't beaten to a pulp with a saxophone the second Clinton walked in and noticed the blue-dressed plastic lady, it's because he only kept the mannequin in position when Clinton was not present.
Hidden Images Of Halley's Comet Turn Up Everywhere
For a significant portion of human history, comet sightings have usually meant that [insert deity here] was angry at us. Halley's Comet is no exception; as one of our most regular and visible sky guests, its appearance every 76 years often coincided with mass pant-shittery and general repentance. Kings and peasants alike prayed to the heavenly apparition for good health, successful crops, and for fertile women to spontaneously appear on their doorstep.
NASA/W.Liller NSSDC's Photo Gallery
"Would you settle for a really horny ear of corn?"
Then they inserted pictures of it just everywhere.
Although we didn't figure out its exact cycle until 1705, people have been aware of the random bright lights that we'd later find out were all Halley's Comet for a long damn time. It has been recorded in art for at least the last 900 years, featured in everything from jewelry and book margins to stoner posters and, oh, several world-famous artworks.
Here's a particularly heavy metal illustration of the Great Comet of 1528, which is -- you guessed it -- Halley's. The image was included in a surgical textbook, in a chapter titled "Des Monstres Celestes," which roughly translates to "celestial monsters."
Or, even more roughly, to: "ALIENS."
And then there's the priceless Bayeux Tapestry, a 230-foot-long embroidered banner that documents the events leading to the Norman conquest of England in 1066. It's basically a medieval comic book starring former kings Harold, Edward, and historical badass William the Conqueror. One scene also features Halley's Comet (top center), which appeared a couple months after Harold's coronation. It was considered a portent of doom and in those days referred to as "the terror of kings." It didn't hurt the comet's reputation that shortly thereafter, William the Conqueror arrived and chokeslammed Harold's jabroni ass to oblivion.
Well, it didn't portend William's doom ...
Perhaps most notably, the comet is featured in Giotto di Bondone's biblical masterpiece "Adoration of the Magi," part of a fresco completed in 1305. In it, Giotto cast Halley's Comet as the guiding star of Bethlehem, the ecclesiastical GPS that led the Magi to baby Jesus:
Still didn't stop them from arguing the whole time that it would have been quicker if the comet had just followed their route.
That's why the star is given something it doesn't have in the story itself -- a tail, looking like it's streaking across the sky. You know, like a comet. That's because the painting was done in 1305, and Halley's Comet had swept by and created its usual sensation just four years earlier. So, the artist retconned it into a painting of Baby Jesus, as God's sign from the heavens. That's how big of a deal Halley's Comet was.
Jacopo della Quercia is the author of The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy and its follow-up License to Quill, both of which you should totally order now!
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