Une nuit de mystère - Sous le charme de mon ennemi (Harlequin Black Rose) (French Edition)
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There is a Providence who looks after travellers! As in the case of Delacroix, the picturesque setting of Suzanne pleased him; he wanted to put Suzanne in his bedroom alcove. They could go round the world five times with that! So they ran off to Italy as they had run away to Holland, taking a travelling carriage to Lyons, crossing Mont Cenis and reaching Rome in twenty-one days. The two latter desires arose from simple curiosity; the first from sentiment: Marie Monchablon was a cousin of General Leclerc, first husband of the Princess Borghese.
There was, therefore, relationship with the Napoleon family, although obviously very distant; but relationships go much further back than that in Corsica! Horace Vernet was director of the school of painting in Rome. The first visit of the two artists was naturally to Horace Vernet; but, on leaving his house, there was only the Monte Pincio to cross, the gate del Popolo to pass and they were in the villa Borghese.
She smiled, called to mind the two good-looking young people she had bowed to in the garden of the villa Borghese and asked that they should be presented to her on the following day. This strange prophecy was realised! After this they began seriously to set to work. From Rome the lovers started for Naples. From Naples they returned to Florence. Corpus Domini. Meanwhile, the young couple took hasty excursions into the country and, as the parents could not leave little Albert behind, they put him in a basket which a man carried on his head.
This was the son of Corpus Domini, and bearing this title, no goat-herd but would give him of her milk. You only had to dip the pen in the water-jug, stream or river, or simply in your mouth, to write with water or with saliva, and the writing became black as fast as the nib of the pen formed the letters. It was such a wonderful invention that they decided to start a paper factory under illustrious patronage. This gave the spectators much food for reflection. It would be impossible to use the paper on a rainy day or days when one had a cold or on days when one was tearful.
The factory idea was renounced. They reached Magnesia near the Mendere river and began to dig in the ground.
He made a sketch in the full heat of the midday sun [Pg 27] and, during his work, got one of those attacks of sunstroke that are so dangerous in the East. Brain fever ensued: he was far from all aid; there were only bad Greek doctors near him, of the type that killed Byron. Delirium set in by the third day; on the fifth, he died laughing and singing, unconscious that he was dying. All the Greek clergy in Constantinople came to pay respect to the body of the poor traveller, who had died at twenty-eight years of age, far away from his friends, his family and his country!
Twenty-eight years of age! Compare that age with what he had done! The body was carried away on the back of a camel. There, as here, everybody loved him. People of all lands and in every kind of costume followed the procession. All the French ships in the roadstead carried their flags at half-mast and their ensigns of mourning. The whole staff of the embassy came out to meet the body at the gate of Constantinople, and a procession of over three thousand persons followed it to the French church.
There he lies, sleeping, like Ophelia, still smiling and singing! Delicate and sarcastic smile, eyes sparkling with intelligence, a satirical mouth, short figure and large heart and a delightful tincture of melancholy perceptible everywhere—that is your portrait, dear Grandville! I begin to have as many friends below ground as above; come to me!
You will remember, dear Grandville, when I went to call upon you in your garret in the rue des Petits-Augustins, a garret from whence I never came out without carrying away with me some wonderful sketches? What good long talks we had! What fine perceptions! I did not think of asking you then where you came from, neither where you were going; you smiled sadly at life, at the future; you had had some sadness forced out from the depths of your heart.
That which I did not think to ask of the artist when he was full of life, energy and health, I now ask of him when he is dead and laid in the grave. You have forgotten, you say, dear Grandville? I understand that. But there is one of your friends, a man of heart and of talent who has not forgotten: take Charles Blanc, and add to what he has forgotten that which you yourself can remember.
Your life was too uninteresting, you say? Very well, but [Pg 29] the public takes as much interest in the humble vicar of Wakefield in his village parish as in the brilliant Ralegh at the court of the proud Elizabeth—You will try to remember?
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Grandville was born at Nancy. He was the successor, compatriot, one might almost say the pupil, of Callot.
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The grandfather was called Grandville. This child, who was to create a world of his own, half animal, half human, who was to explain the scent of flowers by making the flower the mere external covering of woman, who, by means of imagery drawn from human life, was to endow the stars with those beauteous eyes which flash amidst the darkness and with which they are supposed to gaze upon the earth, this child, I say, was born on 13 September He was born so weak that it was thought for a moment he was only born to die, but his mother took him in her arms and hid him so completely in her heart, that Death, who was looking for him, passed by and saw him not.
But the child saw Death, and that is why he has since then painted him so accurately. As a youth, he was taciturn but observant, watching everything with those large melancholy eyes of his, which seemed as though they were looking for and finding in everything some side unknown and invisible to other eyes. It is this side which he has shown in all beings and created things, from the giant to the ant, from man to mollusc, from the star down to the flower. Others find fault with the world as the good God has made it, but, powerless to refashion it, they rest satisfied with [Pg 30] railing at it; Grandville not only did not scoff at it, but even re-created one of his own.
At twelve he entered the school at Nancy, and he left at fourteen. What did Latin, Greek or even French matter to him? He had a language of his own, which he talked in low tones to that invisible master whom we call genius, a language which, later, he was to speak aloud to the whole of creation. When I went to see Grandville and found him holding a lizard in his hand, whistling to a canary in its cage or crumbling bread in a bowl of red fishes, I was always tempted to ask him: "Come, what does the fish, canary or lizard say to you?
Manual Une nuit de mystère - Sous le charme de mon ennemi (Harlequin Black Rose) (French Edition)
Grandville began to draw at fourteen; I am mistaken, he had always drawn. So, one day, the masters showed these exercise-books to his father. They meant them to be the means of getting the child a scolding; but the father saw more than the masters did: they only saw an indifferent Latin scholar; the father saw a great artist. All saw correctly, but each turned his back and looked in an opposite direction from that of the others. Grandville was from that day introduced into his father's studio, and had the right to make sketches without being obliged to do exercises and translations.
When a sitter came to sit for a miniature in M.
Grandville's studio, he sat both to father and son. The sitter, however, only saw the work of the father because that was a finished, varnished and touched-up portrait, whilst the son's was a beautiful and excellent caricature, at which the father would laugh heartily when the sitter was gone, but which he advised his son to hide deep among his drawings, wondering each time how it was that the man's face had some likeness to the head of an animal.
It was hard to give up his boy, even to a brother artist; and yet Grandville's father knew very well that one cannot become a great artist unless one goes out into the great centres of civilisation. He adopted a middle course, which appeased his conscience and comforted his heart. He promised to send the boy to Paris. Six months went by before this promise was put into execution; at last, recognising that the lad was wasting time in the provinces, the father made up his mind.
A hundred crowns were put into one of the young artist's pockets, a letter to a cousin in the other, and he was commended to the care of the conductor of a diligence; thus the great man of the coming future started for Paris. Well, just as M. We know others, too, besides M.
Meanwhile, Hippolyte Lecomte came in. We do not know whether Hippolyte Lecomte has, like M. It was exactly what the young man wanted, and he passed from M. Mansion's studio to that of Lecomte. And, M.
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Mansion's pupil kept an old grudge against his master. This was what occasioned it—.