Well, worry no more, my friends, for as I sat on the floor in a moment of exhaustion tonight, my eyes came upon that portion of my bookshelf dedicated to artists of the 1700s, and as it had been a while, I pulled a book or two off the shelf to have a look. And what shocking fact did I discover?
No, nothing about Clyde the turtle this time.
No, this time, I was struck by a vision the equivalent of Jim Moriarty showing up on every TV screen in Great Britain, going "Miss me?" Because what did we see last Thursday and Friday, all over Sherlockian Twitter?
Yes, the hashtags #Canontits and #221Boobs noting photo after photo of young women's plunging necklines, just like the pictures above.
"BUT WAIT!" you might protest. "The women in these photos are not holding copies of the Sherlockian Canon to their chests! They are completely different!"
Yes, I would reply, and do you know why they don't have the works of Arthur Conan Doyle held close to their bosom in a display of their devotion and well-read minds?
Because Conan Doyle hadn't written the Sherlock Holmes stories yet when these pictures were made!
"But, Brad!" you might now protest. "What the hell are you trying to tell us? The female form is classic? We know that, you doofus!"
Oh . . . I now start to stammer excitedly . . . oh, no! That's not it at all. Last Thursday we saw a sudden upsurge in the display of cleavage in connection to Sherlock Holmes, sending what seemed like an obvious message. Yet sometimes, as many an undercover operative knows, a second message can be hidden beneath the surface message.
Because you know who else liked to put cleavage on display, much as we saw last Thursday?
Jean Baptiste Greuze.
The guy who painted all of those pictures above.
The guy whose work was singled out by a certain professor to adorn his office, hang behind him and represent him in the memory of all who visited that office.
Yes, Jean Baptiste Greuze, the favorite artist of one James Moriarty.
And while I haven't worked out what exactly all this means just yet, or let anyone have the list of ingestables leading to this "Ah-HA!" moment, I am certain -- CERTAIN -- that it was not just an excuse to put fine art or women's cleavage on my blog post. That would just be too much of a coincidence.
Moriarty is never far from our thoughts, especially with Andrew Scott posing with Louise Brealey so cutely on Twitter these days. Posing with golf clubs, nonetheless. Golf clubs! Obliquity of the ecliptic, first cousin to dynamics of an asteroid, and all that! And now this Greuze connection? It has to mean something, doesn't it?
Or maybe, I do just miss you, Jim. Maybe I do.