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Doppelgangers

A little nonsense here... but it shouldn't take too much of your time.

Earlier this year I visited the Musée des beaux-arts in Orléans. It has an impressive collection with paintings stacked up three-high in some rooms so you don't have to use up shoe leather unnecessarily.

I studied for a degree in History of Art so I should reassure you that I did allow much of the creativity to impress itself on me. However, my abiding memory is standing in front of this work by Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez.

The apostle Saint Thomas looks to have all the weight of doubt (and a very heavy cloak!) upon him. I say that now but my immediate thoughts were elsewhere. You should know that my life has been enriched by playing and watching the game of Lawn Tennis. Some of you will already see where I'm going with this. Let's check if your thoughts are the same as mine...

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Exactly! It's as if Diego was a good friend of Mr. Murray in a yet to be discovered alternative universe. The same model is used in other Velazquez paintings but I don't think Andy can sue because my understanding is that copyright doesn't last quite that long.

This month included a trip to the re-vamped Ashmolean in Oxford with tickets for the Tutankhamun and the Embroidery exhibitions (I'm a cultured vulture!) In the main galleries this fella popped up at head height on a plinth... one Cosimo de' Medici in rather firm-jawed Florentine magnificence. As you scroll down you will be treated to a further revelation which confirms my growing suspicion that I need to get out more often.

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OK, you can relax now - David Ferrer is the final suggestion for inclusion in my 'Tennis player look-alikes in the World of Art' folder. Of course, if I do start to get out more often I'll eventually come across another candidate who doubles up. If you find one first do let me know!

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