Historic painting of man bothering a woman goes viral as it reminds people of more modern memes

A painting from the 1800s is going viral, in part thanks to its similarities a much more modern online meme.

The social media-famous Milk Edinburgh meme depicts a man talking into a girl’s ear inside a club while she’s clearly disinterested.

And now, a painting from 1874, depicting a man in a top hat bothering a lone woman who is simply sitting on a train, has got the meme treatment after reminding Twitter of that exact image – despite being decades apart.

Creative Twitter users came up with funny suggestions of what the man could have been saying in the woman’s ear while she looks, quite frankly, annoyed and upset by the encounter.

One person joked: “‘where’s thine hug’.”

Another said: “‘Dost thou have a betrothed?’”

The jokes were made arguably even funnier by using modern chat up lines and modern language in the context of old painting.

Someone wrote: “‘Why you not smiling, ma?’”

Another Twitter user wrote: “‘you got snapchat?’”

Someone else wrote: “‘so your man don’t let you have friends?’”

The painting, called “The Irritating Gentleman” is a piece of artwork by German artist Berthold Woltze.

It was posted on Twitter by WikiVictorian, an account that shares “stuff from 1800 to 1920s”, and took off as quick-witted social media users began to have a lot of fun with it.

The image has been compared to similar modern-day memes that show men “mansplaining” to women, with some saying that “life imitates art”.

According to meme website KnowYourMeme, the image received similar treatment in 2012 when it was posted on microblogging site Tumblr.

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