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Unfinished Portraits Stories of Musicians and Artists   By: (1860-1951)

Unfinished Portraits Stories of Musicians and Artists by Jennette Lee

First Page:

UNFINISHED PORTRAITS

BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR

KATE WETHERILL A PILLAR OF SALT THE SON OF A FIDDLER UNCLE WILLIAM SIMEON TETLOW'S SHADOW HAPPY ISLAND MR. ACHILLES THE TASTE OF APPLES THE WOMAN IN THE ALCOVE AUNT JANE THE IBSEN SECRET THE SYMPHONY PLAY

[Illustration: The great picture gathered to itself shape, and glowed. Page 253]

UNFINISHED PORTRAITS

STORIES OF MUSICIANS AND ARTISTS

BY

JENNETTE LEE

Schubert Titian Chopin Giorgione Bach Leonardo Albrecht Dürer

NEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1916

Copyright, 1916, by Charles Scribner's Sons Published September, 1916

TO

GERALD STANLEY LEE

AND

"THE GREAT ROAD THAT LEADS FROM THE SEEN TO THE UNSEEN"

CONTENTS

PAGE

There Was in Florence a Lady 1

Thumbs and Fugues 29

A Window of Music 79

Frederic Chopin A Record 135

The Man With the Glove 151

The Lost Monogram 207

THERE WAS IN FLORENCE A LADY

I

The soft wind of an Italian spring stirred among the leaves outside. The windows of the studio, left open to the morning air, were carefully shaded. The scent of mulberry blossoms drifted in. The chair on the model stand, adjusted to catch the light, was screened from the glare; and the light falling on the rich drapery flung across its back brought out a dull carmine in the slender, bell shaped flowers near by, and dark gleams of old oak in the carved chair. The chair was empty; but the two men in the studio were facing it, as if a presence were still there.

The painter, sketching idly on the edge of his drawing board, leaned back to survey the child's head that developed under his pencil. "She will not come this morning, then?" he asked almost indifferently.

The older man shook his head. "She said not. She may change her mind."

The painter glanced up quickly. He could see nothing in the face of the other, and he devoted himself anew to the child's head. "It does not matter," he said. "I can work on the background if I feel like working at all," he added, after a moment's pause.

The older man stared moodily at the floor. He flicked a pair of long riding gloves lightly through his fingers. He glanced toward the easel standing in front of the painter, a little to the left. "It is barbarous that you have had to waste so much time!" he broke out. "How long is it? Two no, three years last Christmas time since you began. And there it stands." The figure on the easel, erect, tranquil, in the old chair, seemed to half shrug its shapely shoulders in defense of the unfinished face. He looked at it severely. The severity changed to something else. "And it is so perfect damnably perfect," he said irritably.

The artist raised his eyebrows the least trifle. A movement so slight might have indicated scrutiny of his own work. "You are off for the day?" he asked, glancing at the riding whip and hat on a table by the door.

"Yes; I shall run up, perhaps, as far as Pistoia. Going to see the new altarpiece." He took up the hat and whip. He waited, fingering them indecisively. "She seems to me more fickle than ever, this last month or two."

"I see that she is restless." The painter spoke in a low tone, half hesitating. "I have wondered whether I had hoped that the Bambino" he touched the figure lightly with his foot "might not be needed."

The other started. He stared at him a full minute. His eyes fell. "No, no such good luck," he said brusquely. "It is only caprice... Continue reading book >>




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