The Art Newspaper [1] of April 2004 (No. 146, p. 4) shares a few "Shock revelations in artist's wills" (article by Agnes Day) from the newly-online British National Archives [2]. Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), for instance, asked for one friend to receive "... my Netherlandish tulip bulbs, the which I have secreted in the fastness of the cellars of the Royal Academy, far distant from the jealous eyes of those who would seek to possess them ...". More outré, however, is the final testament of impressionist John Constable (1776-1837), which includes:

I request that facsimilies of my various works be turned into jigsaw puzzles, thereby ensuring a mixture of both pleasure and pain for future generations. It is also my will that my heirs produce sous-platters, fashioned from stout card and decorated with such images of mine as they deem appropriate to ensure that artistic discussion assumes its rightful place at the heart of the supper party. I leave the sum of 200 guineas to purchase the freehold of the cottage known as that of William Lott, yeoman, of Flatford in the County of Suffolk, as formerly agreed to in a memorandum signed and notarised of 3rd September, 1823. I request that my friend Augustus Trammel, gentleman, should burn the accurst building to the ground and to him I leave a further sum of £5/2/6 to purchase all necessary flammatory stuffs and devices.

(see also ArtNewspaper (4 Aug 2001), ... )

TopicHumor - TopicArt - 2004-05-26

(correlates: KillTheProject, CloserToTheMachine, ConflictAversion, ...)