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way I have always been devoted to them and wish
there were more of them over here. One evening I
brought Peter Johnstone, who is now Lord Derwent,
with me. He had a most terrific success, especially
as he spoke such excellent French. I also, brought
an American opera-singer who sang. I think in the
end, as so often happens, Van Dongen's hospitality
was abused by " gate crashers,53 and the parties came
to an end. Madame Van Dongen is one of the most
charming and most elegant women I have ever met,
and I had the pleasure of seeing her quite often
when she was in London a few years ago and show-
ing her a few of the sights. Van Dongen painted a
portrait of Prudence. It was an enormous canvas,
I should think over life-size, in a green satin dancing
dress and a green satin top-hat. I sat behind him
and drew his back. He looks very funny when he
paints. He wears a hat and a long black coat like
a house-painter. He begins a portrait by drawing it
in charcoal; in one hand he holds a large feather
duster with which, now and then, he dusts the
charcoal off and corrects the drawing. The extra-
ordinary sureness with which he applied the colour
astounded me and I began to think that if I sat
behind him and watched long enough I should also
become a society portrait painter. The portrait was
exhibited at the Salon.
One day I went to F* and R.'s flat and found
Radiguet, Yvonne George, Cocteau, Marie Beer-
bohm and several other people, and we had some
cocktails. I sat and talked to Radiguet He
asked me when I was going to draw him. I had