Not quite a Hallmark moment... or the Ides of Hallmark
March 9, 2012 11:05 AM   Subscribe

I want to draw my friend a "Beware the Ides of March" greeting card. Please help me compose an epic depiction of this event that will fit in a 3" x 5" canvas.

Looking on Google, I see variations on this scene.

That scene is pretty freaking epic! However, I ain't no old master... and even if I were, I'd probably choose to paint this in a larger format.

So how would you recommend I simplify this scene to convey the assassination of Julius Caesar in a 3" x 5" space, and still be epic? Suggestions can span artistic nitpickings, clever/humorous/unique ways to depict the scene, historical minutiae, etc.

FYI, I will be using brush and ink on a postcard made out of watercolor paper.
posted by baniak to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
I don't know if "epic" is achievable on the scale of 3"x5". Maybe a laurel wreath or civic crown crossed with a bloody knife?
posted by milk white peacock at 11:13 AM on March 9, 2012

what if, instead of stabbed, he was run over by a soccer mom in an SUV?
posted by sexyrobot at 11:23 AM on March 9, 2012

You can fit a lot of detail on a fact, most of those images should still be easy to read if you print them out on a 3x5, with cropping to just the group in a couple of those cases.

With that said, doing this seriously, I'd probably have caesar's bust in the middle (without the pedestal, just neck-up) looking up doing the holy roll-of-the-eyes thing, with knives arrayed around him, pointing at him, in radial fashion.

But there's a lot to know here, like how much the audience knows about the scenario, and what you'd like them to feel....
posted by circular at 11:27 AM on March 9, 2012

I would just have Caesar with lots of knives in his back, staring in disbelief at the man in front of him dressed up in a ballerina outfit. Caesar is saying "A tutu, Brutus?!"
posted by KateViolet at 11:37 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Good question, circular: the audience is my erudite friend who is a Catholic priest - well versed in philosophy, literature, and theology (obviously). He is 33, and has a kind of weird "punk rock" attitude and sense of humor. He celebrates weird holidays like Robert Burns Day - being that he was an English Lit major before starting the path to the priesthood.
posted by baniak at 11:38 AM on March 9, 2012

Oh as he's an Eng Lit major you'd better get the quote right (apols) "A tutu, Brute?" not Brutus ;-)
posted by KateViolet at 11:42 AM on March 9, 2012

One of the great moments in the whole story (from Shakespeare via Plutarch) happens when the seer who delivered the warning crosses paths with Caesar on the fateful day. Caesar calls him out with a "The Ides of March have come!" to which the seer replies "Aye, but not gone."

Shortly after, they're shanking him on the floor of the Senate. You might try something on the "Whew! I almost dodged the bullet!" theme...Caesar delivering a Borat-style thumbs-up with the conspirators creeping up behind him.
posted by jquinby at 11:42 AM on March 9, 2012

So how would you recommend I simplify this scene to convey the assassination of Julius Caesar in a 3" x 5" space, and still be epic?

Go minimal. Plain white card with blood spatter.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:52 AM on March 9, 2012

As usual, Kate Beaton has got you covered.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:14 PM on March 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

In fact every month has Ides; either the 13th or the 15th of the month - roughly half way through. Normally an excuse for a nice parade in honour of Mars. Its just that March gets all the bad press. A picture showing exactly what Caesar had done on the 11 preceding ides to get his comeuppance on the 12th would be an interesting idea.
posted by rongorongo at 2:01 PM on March 9, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I ended up not having time to make a card for my friend, but I now have many ideas for next year!
posted by baniak at 2:29 PM on March 18, 2012

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