This Classic Toast post originally ran on April 22, 2015.
Ver-r-r-y Byron. At first glance, you might be tempted to think, “Not very Byron,” because there are other people in the picture, and his alabaster brow isn’t the focal point. This is an error. “You there, boy, fetch into this dinghy and sail into yon exhilarating storm, while I stand here and clench my fist over this rock. If you drown in the background, it will make for a very exciting painting.” He’s wearing like eighteen ascots and they’re all flowing in a tempest, plenty of Byron here.
SOLID POUTY BYRON. He’s got some secret freaky brocade vest on under his cloak, which is probably full of dildos, his brow situation is ferociously organized, his out-of-frame hand is probably jerking off the devil, because there’s some sort of flame situation going on in the lower right-hand corner.
Eight out of ten Byrons. Look at his SEXUAL SNEERING.
What is this woman doing in my portrait
is her hair more luxurious than mine
I hope she falls down this hill and dies so I can be alone with my dog
what is she LOOKING at even
why isn’t it me
Just enough Byron. “I will not make eye contact during this portrait sitting,” his contract reads. “You may only color in my mouth, so that people can make out with this painting of me.” End of contract.
Medium Byron, which is perhaps the least amount of Byron you can get. It’s better to be almost no Byron than just regular Byron, so this is actually zero Byrons. He’s almost smiling?? And like, reading letters, like someone with a job would do? Why don’t you just paint KEATS and DIE.
ALL POSSIBLE BYRONS. ONE BILLION PERCENT would Lord Byron grow a mustache and demand that everyone notice it. He would never come out and say “What do you think of my mustache?” but he would make it clear in a thousand small ways that you were expected to notice and compliment it, and if you withheld that pleasure from him, you would never be invited to dinner again. Lord Byron was the thirstiest man alive, but he always pretended he didn’t want anything to drink.
SEMI-Byron?? Obviously the lute and the laurel wreath and the funereal sheet draped like a Roman toga are mightily sick touches and whatnot, but you can’t even see his death erection, which I feel like would have been really important to him, that even in death people were thinking about and looking at his dick.
MOST BYRON. “Hello, are you Greece, I am here to run your army? Don’t worry, I’m a poet. Thank you for the gifts I assume are on their way.”
JUST MAKE IT LOOK LIKE I’M THINKING REAL FIERCELY
LIKE MY BRAIN IS TRYING TO FUCK THE SHIT OUT OF SOME THOUGHTS, OKAY
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.