My question: What is the original of the phrase "warts and all"? It's quite literal, based on Oliver Cromwell's instructions to his portrait painter in 1660:
[Sir Peter] Lely's painting style was, as was usual at the time, intended to flatter the sitter. Royalty in particular expected portraits to show them in the best possible light, if not to be outright fanciful. Lely's painting of Charles II shows what was expected of a painting of a head of state in the 17th century. It emphasizes the shapely royal calves - a prized fashion feature at that time.As Horace Walpole wrote in "Anecdotes of Painting in England" in 1764 — a century later — Cromwell was reported to have said: "Mr Lely, I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts and everything as you see me, otherwise I will never pay a farthing for it."
Cromwell did have a preference for being portrayed as a gentleman of military bearing, but was well-known as being opposed to all forms of personal vanity. This 'puritan Roundhead' versus 'dashing Cavalier' shorthand is often used to denote the differences in style of the two opposing camps in the English Commonwealth and subsequent Restoration. It is entirely plausible that he would have issued a 'warts and all' instruction when being painted and it is unlikely that Lely would have modified his style and produced the 'warts and all' portrait of Cromwell unless someone told him to.
No one knows how close that is to whatever instructions Cromwell gave to Lely, but Walpole's version inevitably got shortened, and by 1824, it had become: "Paint me as I am, warts and all!"
There's something beautiful about a person saying show me how I really am, warts and all that's missing when the phrase is aimed at someone else, as is the case with Bobby Jindal. To say "warts and all" about yourself is to liberate the other person to see and to tell what is true. The way Jindal used it, it means: He's ugly in many ways, but I still accept him. I guess there's a touch of liberation in that. It's saying: Come on, we can support Trump, even though he is, in many ways, ugly. It invites others into realism, into seeing the world as it is.
And here's the idealized Lely portrait of Charles II.
The funniest thing about it is: He's still ugly, even with his face back there in the shadows. But: nice gams!
By the way, "gams" originally referred to thin, unlovely legs. One of the earliest examples from 1789 (G. Parker Life's Painter): "If a man has bow legs, he has queer gams, gams being cant for legs." "Gams" has the etymon in Italia "gamba," which we know from viola da gamba.