A Snake Head to the Editor

Shooting a famous picture should be taken after thinking. Thinking and planning how to pass on the whole ideas the picture contains.

Going over pictures made me realize the differences between a good editor and an amateur one. Some editors allowed themselves to delete important little details. Important as they had a major impact on the ideas the picture had passed.

In the following picture, the editor abandoned the snake. The head of the snake (circled in green) disappeared from the picture, without even getting severance package. Why did the editor fire the snake? Probably because the use of snake may be “reducing the esthetics” of the picture, as for the editor’s view (because the snake is “repulsive”/”dirty”). 

Averroes with snake


I believe it had a major role. The snake, as a scary and mysterious character, catches the viewer’s attention.


In one of Rafael’s most famous pictures, Scuola Athena, the oriental hero is presented with a snake on his shoulder. The hero is looking at the women near him as if he is trying to hypnotize her. The snake is making the scene more real for the viewer, as for the feelings it carries with it. By the year 2000, the snake head disappeared and with it our oriental hero is losing his place in the interest list. Apart from the unfairness towards our unfortunate hero, editing the snake’s head is problematic for the viewer. The common viewer usually invest several hours in the museums to learn and understand a bit of pictures he does not know, and the museum has to give him the tools to understand the picture as a whole. Editing the snake, well; I believe it is ethically wrong. 







In the picture Parnassus, Rafael describes the Muses gathered by Apollo. Playing his violin, Apollo does not notice that under his leg there is a long black snake. Will the snake get to encounter the muse? Will they become friends, or will it harm her to her death? Are we fronting a tragedy or a start of a new role for snakes? This little story is quite major in the picture’s plot. Deleting it, well… It may have left us with a beautiful picture, but its interest is nothing compared to what it was before. 

Parnasus Snake Parnasus Focused snake Parnasus Super Focused Snake


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