Skip to main content

Full text of "Laughing Torso"


CHAPTER XV                                 PARIS AND BRITTANY
THERE were two very nice American boys called
Ralph Sabatini and Julian Levy. They were friends
of Frank's and also spoke very good French. We
spent a lot of our time together; they were both
talented and very enthusiastic about everything.
Ralph wanted to do a copy of the Uccello in the
Louvre. This is the other half of the one in the
National Gallery, but it is in very bad condition,
whereas the one in London looks as if it had been
painted only recently. Ralph bought a canvas half
the size of the original; this was about eleven feet
long, and we set it up on an easel in the Louvre.
The attendant of the room he was working in came
up to him. On seeing what he was about to do he ex-
plained to him that during his career in the Louvre
he had seen many people start copying this picture;
so far, he had never seen anyone finish it. I don't
know how many times Ralph went to the Louvre,
but I remember that, one day, Julian and I arrived
at his studio near the Sorbonne and there it was,
half finished. We condoled with him and he said
that he had bought a large number of photographs
and had already put indications of the colours on the
canvas and proposed finishing it at home. Julian
and I were delighted; we said that we would come
and help him. Julian went out and bought some
bottles of wine and we all three started. We worked
away for hours, it was great fun, and it really de-
veloped into a most extraordinary picture. I would