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O Glorious Leader

2016, Oil on Italian Linen, 120 x 100cm

The “Great” are littered throughout history.

Take Peter the Great, for example. This is the guy that demanded a city bearing his own name be built out of a mosquito-infested swamp. He founded a drinking club entitled “The All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters” and also invented the sport of dwarf tossing.

Another jolly Russian, Catherine the Great, allegedly had a special apparatus constructed in order have sex with a horse. Indeed, the rumour going around was this was how she died. Admittedly, the story was spread by her enemies. And while it may just be a scrap of malicious gossip, she did have a few verified profligacies such as having her assistants procure innumerable lovers, who where “tested” for proficiency by her handmaidens.

So here’s the thing: what does it take to earn (or lose) the title “Great”? Please discuss.