Saturday, 14 September 2013

an FCUK you didnt know - sherlock holmes's grandma !

hope you've all been doing fine while i once again managed to vanish for more than a month. august seemed to go by in a flash, and now so has half of september. whoosh. meanwhile been having some things in draft, which i thought were never going to see the light of the day. well, got around to making some progress finally, so here goes - a french connection UK from the most unlikely source you'd have imagined !

last month, i saw on the google art project's google+ page this post below -

i saw that the painting was by the french artist claude vernet, and the very mention of the name triggered thoughts of Sherlock Holmes in me. if you are as much of a holmes junkie as i am, you probably know the connection too. i could probably do a marathon of 'explain with reference to context' or 'who said to whom' type of questions from sherlock holmes stories.

anyway - the connection is that in the case of the greek interpreter, holmes says that his grandmother was the sister of the french artist vernet. 'art in the blood is liable to take the strangest forms', says holmes, speaking about his brother mycroft's powers of deduction, which he says are superior to his own.

coming back to vernet, a bit of wiki'ing around shows that there are four generations of vernets who have been artists, and holmes doesnt mention a first name as to which vernet was his grandmother's sibling. sherlock holmes is supposed to have been born in 1854, so assuming that any grandmother of his would have been around 40-50 at the time, the most likely candidate seems to be emile horace vernet, 1789-1863. - grandson of the aforementioned claude vernet.
(on a side note, this vernet was apparently born in the louvre. born inside the louvre ! lucky bloke, hmmm.)

why all this research into grandmothers, if you ask, i'm afraid i dont have any convincing answer except that as a holmes-o-phile, i was so caught up in it the moment i saw the word vernet.

and as a side-effect, here are a couple of sources if you want to read the complete sherlock holmes collections online - see here and here. i'm so happy to have found these, since my fat old book lies battered and tattered in my parents' home.

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