‘Distracted Boyfriend’ Meme’s 18th Century Equivalent Makes Its Way Online

Composite image by DesignTAXI. Left image via Shutterstock, right image via WikiArt (public domain)

Shortly after a magazine sketch from 1921 was dubbed one of the earliest memes on earth, an older artwork has surfaced online to surpass it.

Twitter user ‘ELXGANZA’ has shared a 1761 painting by British artist Joshua Reynolds that could very well be the first ‘Distracted Boyfriend’ meme.

In the modern-day stock photo, a woman appears dumbstruck as her male companion turns around and checks out another female.

In a similar fashion, Reynolds’ painting titled Garrick Between Tragedy and Comedy illustrates a man who is caught between two women.

The 1761 “meme” actually centers English actor David Garrick, who is torn between ‘Comedy’, depicted in a pink gown, and ‘Tragedy’, dressed in blue. The artwork is said to be one of Reynolds’ most prolific pieces.

Two centuries later, it seems as if the world hasn’t learned its lesson.

Image via Shutterstock

Image via WikiArt (public domain)

I’ve found the 18th century equivalent to the distracted boyfriend meme pic.twitter.com/QDKjygVDcr

— big sue (@ELXGANZA) April 16, 2018

I see no difference pic.twitter.com/GtK4DwDVrz

— Robin Good fellow (@R3dLeprechaun) April 16, 2018

Sis knows exactly what she’s doing pic.twitter.com/v6qwuJj1f4

— D☀️N (@dxnvts) April 16, 2018


— Tom (AAV) (@Angry_Voice) April 16, 2018

omg, the women are even wearing the same basic colors.

— Yes, I can hear you, Clem Fandango (@Hanksingle) April 16, 2018

that’s pretty uncanny pic.twitter.com/F05oI1foFl

— Andrew Hibbard (@andrewhibbard) April 17, 2018


— Gorgon (@ChickNugs) April 17, 2018

[via Mashable, images via various sources]

‘Distracted Boyfriend’ Meme’s 18th Century Equivalent Makes Its Way Online

April 17, 2018 at 12:21AM
via TAXI Daily News http://www.designtaxi.com/news/399269/Distracted-Boyfriend-Meme-s-18th-Century-Equivalent-Makes-Its-Way-Online/