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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

PEACE

CHAPTER VIII                                                                    PEACE
AT my Art Class I generally drew with the
students. I taught three evenings a week and for
two nights a week I joined the St. Martin's Art
School and drew from the nude. They had a com-
petition once a year for landscapes done in the
summer vacation and a Royal Academician came
and judged them. One evening I was drawing
and the Professor came to me and told me that
the R.A. could not turn up and would I judge
the paintings? This flattered me as I did not
realize that anybody knew who I was at all. The
work was not very good, but one picture I liked
verymuch; itwas of a gipsy encampment and painted
in the style of the Douanier Rousseau. I gave it the
first prize. This I knew would cause some distur-
bance. I found that the young man who had painted
it was the nephew of Frank Brangwyn. I asked him
how much he wanted for it. He only asked a small
sum and I bought it from him. The St. Martin's
School gave dances from time to time. They were
very good and we brought bottles of whisky in suit-
cases. I have always had a passion for Art Schools,
I don't know why! One doesn't learn very much
at them unless one is lucky enough to find an interest-
ing professor like John Swan or George Lambert.
There is an atmosphere of calm and seriousness that
I like and find inspiring. One day I decided to move
from Fitzroy Street; why, I can't imagine. I took
the top floor of a house in Great James Street^
115