The popularity of "The Big Lebowski" grows year after year. And that appreciation is not limited to the film: Parties.  Festivals. Shops in New York City. But the Los Angeles Times reports artist Joe Forkan has really extended the love by making scenes from the Coen brothers' film the subjects of a group of paintings that he calls "the Lebowski Cycle," works inspired by classical art.

On his website, Forkan has a slideshow of his works, with the classical inspirations also pictured. Needless to say, since classical art drew mostly on the Bible, there is a bit of a parallel between the Dude and Jesus. No, not that Jesus.

Here is how Forkan explained it, regarding the painting at top, via the Times:

"In the movie, they play it like it's a drama," said Forkan, who is an associate professor of art at Cal State Fullerton. "There’s no mugging for the camera. Everything has this level of seriousness. In the 'Oath of the Horatii' they’re talking about the future of Rome. In the film they’re talking about a rug that got peed on, but they’re as serious about that as the characters in the painting were. I liked that level of drama in these images that were also loaded with humor."

The works are on display until Oct. 28 at Orange Coast College's Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion. And that's where Forkan is talking tonight about the cycle.

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