152 A Painter's Views trusted my judgment; in the evening I mentioned the picture to Gogin who went and looked at it; finding him not less impressed than I had been with the idea that the work was an early one by Rembrandt, I bought it, and the more I look at it the more satisfied I am that we are right. People talk as though the making the best of what comes was such an easy matter, whereas nothing in reality requires more experience and good sense. It is only those who know how not to let the luck that runs against them slip, who will be able to find things, no matter how long and how far they go in search of them. [1887.] Trying to Buy a Bellini Flushed with triumph in the matter of Rembrandt, a fortnight or so afterwards I was at Christie's and saw two pictures that fired me. One was a Madonna and Child by Giovanni Bellini, I do not doubt genuine, not in a very good state, but still not repainted. The Madonna was lovely, the Child very good, the landscape sweet and Belliniesque. I was much smitten and determined to bid up to a hundred pounds; I knew this would be dirt cheap and was not going to buy at all unless I could get good value. I bid up to a hundred guineas, but there was someone else bent on having it and when he bid 105 guineas I let him have it, not without regret. I saw in the Times that the purchaser's name was Lesser. The other picture I tried to get at the same sale (this day week); it was a small sketch numbered 72 (I think) and purporting to be by Giorgione but, I fully believe, by Titian. I bid up to £10 and then let it go. It went for £28, and I should say would have been well bought at £40. [1887.] Watts I was telling Gogin how I had seen at Christie's some pictures by Watts and how much I had disliked them. He, said some of them had been exhibited in Paris a few years ago and a friend of his led him up to one of them and said in a serious, puzzled, injured tone: " Mon clier ami, racontez-moi done ceci, s'il vous plait,"