Classic Cartoons

Martin Plimmer on Ronald Searle
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The Independent Culture
THE AUTHOR of those vicious imps, the girls of St Trinian's, turns his hand here to another aspect of woman: the goddess. We can see from the dumb smiles of the chorus girls that she can't really be a goddess, but from the point of view of her cigar-smoking acolytes at her feet, she is.

Ronald Searle, whose generous pen lends itself to such flamboyance as hers, gives her the poise of a classical female deity, emphasising her statuesque presence by her clothing (or raiment, as statues call it) and the omission of her head.

Searle is equally eloquent with more lowly human moods. Those men honouring the goddess with their noses rampant could all be tycoons, yet they have been rendered small by the power of female physical attraction, caught with their guards dropped; their self-importance has been overtaken by awe and pleasure.