Lucy Vickery

Arty limericks

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In Competition No. 2915 you were invited to submit limericks featuring a well-known artist and a destination of your choice. This challenge was spawned by a limerick Robert Conquest wrote about Paul Gauguin:

When Gauguin was visiting Fiji

He said things are different here, e.g.

While Tahitian skin

Calls for tan spread on thin

You must slosh it on here with a squeegee. 

Brian Allgar penned this response:

Mr Conquest, your limerick’s cheaty —

Stop writing mendacious graffiti!

In Fiji? What rot,

For the tropical spot

Where Paul Gauguin arrived was Tahiti. 

It was a record-breaking entry size-wise and there was oodles of wit, skill and originality on display (though I lost count of the number of times ‘Giotto’ was rhymed with ‘blotto’). The entries below earn their authors £10 each.

In New Mexico, Georgia O’Keefe

Found dry bones, stark sun, and relief

From the Freudian gang

With their thing for her thang

And their eyes on her floral motif.

Chris O’Carroll

On a tour of St Peter’s in Rome,

Van Gogh told the guide in the Dome:

‘Roman friend, I can’t hear;

Could you lend me your ear?

I seem to have left mine at home.’

Sylvia Smith

While staying in Venice, El Greco

Got thoroughly pissed on prosecco.

He told several gents,

‘My talent’s immense!

Look — I’ll undo my pants — take a decko!’

George Simmers

When Hieronymus Bosch was eleven

He boarded a barque bound for Devon.

Said the people of Bude

As he swam in the nude,

‘He’ll end up in hell, not in heaven!’

Alan Millard

In New York there’s a modernist faction

Thinks painting should always be action.

Round here Jackson Pollock’s

A load of old bollocks,

But England’s the home of reaction.

John Whitworth

Had Gauguin sailed north to Hawaii,

He’d have met with a local quirk, i.e.

To comer and goer

The same word ‘Aloha’

Sounds hello-y but can sound goodbye-y.

Ray Kelley

There once was an artist named Klimt

Whose paintings look best if you squimt.

You’ll find an abundance

Of samples in London’s

Museums, and they all cost a mimt.

Robert Schechter

Michelangelo painted the ceiling

Of a semi-detached in West Ealing

Pope Julius phoned

And politely intoned:

‘Can you come and paint ours, ’cos it’s peeling.’

Philip Machin

Georges Braque dreamed of flying to Mars

And the faraway realm of the stars.

There was nothing to do

In the infinite blue

Except painting those bloody guitars.

G.M. Davis

In summer, the young Botticelli

Could be found on the beach in Pwllheli,

Painting fine aquarelles

Of girls standing on shells,

Till it rained, when he went and watched telly.

David Silverman

When Rembrandt crossed old Father Rhine

He thought ‘I am his, he is mine:

If I come to great fame

I’ll add him to my name.’

Now we know him as Rembrandt van Rijn.

Alanna Blake

When Rubens was visiting Chard,

His efforts at painting were marred,

The Somerset women

Had taken to slimmin’

So he stuffed them with doughnuts and lard.

C.J. Gleed

Rothko painted a girl from Bel Air

With whom he had had an affair.

Her breasts he had found

To be perfectly round;

But on canvas they both came out square.

Martin Parker

Had Rembrandt resided in Gouda,

His colours would just have got louder,

Until the Night Watch

Resembled a swatch

Of fabrics you’d hang on a howdah.

Nigel Mace

When Victorian William Powell Frith

Met his chums on a binge in Penrith

They got utterly wrecked

And could not recollect

Where they were, why they went or who with.

Mike Morrison

When Salvador Dalí saw Luton

He traded his ’tache for a futon

He drank Earl Grey tea

Each morning at three

And danced in the rain with his suit on.

Albert Black

No. 2918: Threesome

You are invited to submit a poem composed entirely of three-letter words (16 lines maximum). Please email entries, wherever possible, to by midday on 30 September.