I was walking through The West Wing of the Norton Simon Museum and nearly screamed when I saw this painting of Cliff at Étretat, the Port d’Aval (1869) by Gustave Courbet.
I couldn’t help but remember the Noël episode of the television series The West Wing (S2 E10) and Bernard’s flat delivery:
This is a painting of the cliffs of Étretat, cleverly entitled “The Cliffs of Étretat”.
That episode described a similar painting by a minor (fictitious) painter Gustave Callioux who was apparently influenced by Courbet. The plot was likely art imitating real life as Courbet’s painting was apparently stolen by the Nazis.
Perhaps the show’s reference was also a snipe at the Canadian children’s television show Caillou? One also has to wonder at the similarities of the name Cliff Calley who pops ups up in the show’s “Ways and Means” episode (S3, E3).