The Picture by Alexander Kuprin

Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryAlexander Kuprin – The Picture – Contents

< < < . IX .
. XI . > > >


So the prince settled down to live with Rozanof. He used to lie on the sofa all day, read French novels and polish his nails. But he soon got tired of this, and one day he said to his friend:

“Do you know, I once learnt to paint!”

Rozanof was surprised. “No, did you?”

“Yes, I did. I can even show you some of my pictures.”

Rozanof looked at them, and then he said:

“You have very good capabilities, but you have been taught in a stupid school.”

The prince was delighted.

“Well,” he asked, “if I began to study now, do you think I should ever paint anything good?”

“I think it’s very probable indeed.”

“Even if I’ve been an idler up till now?”

“Oh, that’s nothing. You can overcome it by work.”

“When my hair is grey?”

“That doesn’t matter either. Other people have begun later than you. If you like, I’ll give you lessons myself.”

So they began to work together. Rozanof could only marvel at the great gift for painting which the prince displayed. And the prince was so taken up by his work that he never wanted to leave it, and had to be dragged away by force.

Five months passed. Then, one day, Rozanof came to the prince and said:

“Well, my colleague, you are ripening in your art, and you already understand what a drawing is and the school. Formerly you were a savage, but now you have developed a refined taste. Come with me and I will show you the picture I once gave you a hint about. Until now I’ve kept it a secret from everybody, but now I’ll show you, and you can tell me your opinion of it.”

He led the prince into his studio, placed him in a corner from whence he could get a good view, and drew a curtain which hung in front of the picture. It represented St. Barbara washing the sores on the feet of lepers.

The prince stood for a long time and looked at the picture, and his face became gloomy as if it had been darkened.

“Well, what do you think of it?” asked Rozanof.

“This——” answered the prince, with rancour, “that I shall never touch a paint-brush again.”

< < < . IX .
. XI . > > >

Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryAlexander Kuprin – The Picture – Contents

Copyright holders –  Public Domain Book

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