Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
paint a Christ that is not in my heart," said Mihailov
"Yes; but in that case, if you will allow me to say what I
think.... Your picture is so fine that my observation cannot
detract from it, and, besides, it is only my personal opinion.
With you it is different. Your very motive is different. But
let us take Ivanov. I imagine that if Christ is brought down to
the level of an historical character, it would have been better
for Ivanov to select some other historical subject, fresh,
"But if this is the greatest subject presented to art?"
"If one looked one would find others. But the point is that art
cannot suffer doubt and discussion. And before the picture of
Ivanov the question arises for the believer and the unbeliever
alike, Is it God, or is it not God? and the unity of the
impression is destroyed."
"Why so? I think that for educated people," said Mihailov, "the
question cannot exist."
Golenishtchev did not agree with this, and confounded Mihailov by
his support of his first idea of the unity of the impression
being essential to art.
Mihailov was greatly perturbed, but he could say nothing in
defense of his own idea.
Anna and Vronsky had long been exchanging glances, regretting
their friends flow of cleverness. At last Vronsky, without
waiting for the artist, walked away to another small picture.
"Oh, how exquisite! What a lovely thing! A gem! How
exquisite!" they cried with one voice.
"What is it theyre so pleased with?" thought Mihailov. He had
positively forgotten that picture he had painted three years ago.
He had forgotten all the agonies and the ecstasies he had lived
through with that picture when for several months it had been the
one thought haunting him day and night. He had forgotten, as he
always forgot, the pictures he had finished. He did not even
like to look at it, and had only brought it out because he was
expecting an Englishman who wanted to buy it.
"Oh, thats only an old study," he said.
"How fine!" said Golenishtchev, he too, with unmistakable
sincerity, falling under the spell of the picture.
Two boys were angling in the shade of a willow-tree. The elder
had just dropped in the hook, and was carefully pulling the float
from behind a bush, entirely absorbed in what he was doing. The
other, a little younger, was lying in the grass leaning on his
elbows, with his tangled, flaxen head in his hands, staring at
the water with his dreamy blue eyes. What was he thinking of?
The enthusiasm over this picture stirred some of the old feeling
for it in Mihailov, but he feared and disliked this waste of
feeling for things past, and so, even though this praise was
grateful to him, he tried to draw his visitors away to a third
But Vronsky asked whether the picture was for sale. To Mihailov
at that moment, excited by visitors, it was extremely distasteful
to speak of money matters.
"It is put up there to be sold," he answered, scowling gloomily.
When the visitors had gone, Mihailov sat down opposite the
picture of Pilate and Christ, and in his mind went over what had
been said, and what, though not said, had been implied by those
visitors. And, strange to say, what had had such weight with
him, while they were there and while he mentally put himself at
their point of view, suddenly lost all importance for him. He
began to look at his picture with all his own full artist vision,
and was soon in that mood of conviction of the perfectibility,
and so of the significance, of his picture--a conviction
essential to the most intense fervor, excluding all other
interests--in which alone he could work.
Christs foreshortened leg was not right, though. He took his
palette and began to work. As he corrected the leg he looked
continually at the figure of John in the background, which his
visitors had not even noticed, but which he knew was beyond
perfection. When he had finished the leg he wanted to touch that
figure, but he felt too much excited for it. He was equally
unable to work when he was cold and when he was too much affected
and saw everything too much. There was only one stage in the
transition from coldness to inspiration, at which work was
possible. Today he was too
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