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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

PEACE
they brought some wine and spent the night there.
On the day that Modigliani died his cat jumped out
of the studio window and was killed. Modigliani
was given a fine funeral in Pere Lachaise, and I
believe an enormous crowd followed the hearse.
His wife had always said that she would like to be
buried in the same cemetery as he was. Her
family would not allow this and she was buried
in the Cimetiere de Bagneux, where Oscar Wilde
was originally buried. The friends of Modigliani
and she went very early in the morning to the funeral
and when the moment came when the funeral
guests shake hands with the relations, they stood
with their hands behind their backs as a protest.
The art dealer's exhibition had finished in London
by February. I don't think he sold many. He
ought to have, as there were some interesting
paintings.
The Southern Syncopated Orchestra had arrived
in London. I went to hear them. I had never
heard negro spirituals sung before and they sang
very well indeed. I met Mrs. Reavis, who sang
beautiiully and looked rather like a painting by
Gauguin. I asked her to sit for me and she came
one morning. I knew that Epstein admired coloured
people and I asked him if he would like to come and
draw too. He came round and did several very beau-
tiful drawings, which he left on the floor and I had
framed. They were, of course, not signed, and a
few years ago I sold them. The man I sold them to
asked me if I thought that Epstein would sign them;
I said that I could not possibly ask him as he would
'