This is a story I read in my brother’s book on Banksy (an English street artist). Enjoy!
Once upon a time there was a king who ruled over a great and glorious nation. His favourite subject was the court painter, of whom he was very proud. The king thought him to be the greatest painter in the land. One day, a dishevelled stranger arrived at the court and claimed that in fact he was the greatest painter in the land.
The king decided to hold a competition between the two, thinking it would teach the stranger an embarrassing lesson. The two artists worked feverishly day and night until the deadline.
On the day of the competition, each artist placed his work under a cloth, to be unveiled by the king. When the king removed the cloth on the work of the court painter there was a picture of a delicious banquet laid out on a table. In the middle of the painting, there was a bowl of grapes which were so realistic that a sparrow flew in the open window and tried to snatch a grape, only to bounce off the canvas and fall to the floor.
“Aha!” exclaimed the king. “My court painter’s work is so good, it has fooled Mother Nature herself!” But the stranger said nothing. Soon the time came for the king to unveil the stranger’s work. He walked up to grab the cloth from the painting only to stop short.
“You see,” said the stranger. “There is no cloth covering my painting. It is merely a painting of a cloth covering a painting. And whereas your famous artist is content to fool Nature, I’ve made the king of the whole country look like a bit of a twat.”