Edward Gibbon on Modern Life: Boris Johnson as Artist

As he cowered in the precincts of Lord Goldsmith’s opulent villa, the Prime Minister sought to replicate the Depictive endeavours of Mr Churchill, a Masquerade he supplied by investing himself in the rude Smock of a limner, and the plausible arrangement before him of Canvasses and Pigments. However, unlike the persuasive Pictures wrought by his most Pugnatious and effective of Predecessors, who routinely set to rights the ills of the Realm before unfolding his Easel amid the groves of Chartwell or the sands of Antibes, Mr Johnson’s Delineative Enterprise was perceiv’d by the Mob as but the Pictorial equivalent of the Musickal essays of Nero, who, as the Temples and Colonnades of Rome were swiftly reduced by fire to Acrid waste, strumm’d tunelessly upon a Lyre, oblivious to the anguish’t wails of his flame-lick’t Subjects. A crowded Tableau of unrelieved Despair painted itself upon the broad elevation of the Kingdom, whose shores the Principal Limner had so ignominiously fled. Mr Johnson meanwhile prim’d his Canvass ’til it was clean as the Whited Sepulchre, then sought to reproduce upon it the crimson harmonies of a Balearique sunset, with a brush dip’t carelessly in the lifeblood of Albion.   

For the complete Edward Gibbon on Modern Life, click here.

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