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Monsieur Signy l'Abbaye was a master artist in his day, wh

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Ellen dd

on 27 July 2014

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Transcript of Monsieur Signy l'Abbaye was a master artist in his day, wh

Tradition Blinds Us to Originality
Contemplating
(=after he contemplated)
this request,
l'Abbaye shook his head.
'This

is
strange,'/
thought the client,/
but he thought
how highly the artist had been recommended.
Monsieur Signy l'Abbaye
was
a master artist /
in his day

and in 1392/
was

ready /to retire
.
Starting(=while he started)
his work,
the master artist threw a high curtain up/
in front of the wall,
a curtain
/
through

which
/ Bartoli could not
see
.
(= Bartoli could not see though
it
.)
A week passed. "How is it coming?" asked the hopeful Senior Bartoli.
A month passed. "How is it coming?" Senior Bartoli asked.
Guiliano Bartoli stood for a minute and then his mouth fell open,
his eyes turned red and he grabbed what few hairs he had left on his head.
L'Abbaye entered the banquet hall.
His eyes flashed,
as
he
started
at
the twenty-foot wall
and
thought
of all that space.
Sighing deeply, the patron again withdrew. Just how long would this take? Who knew?
Then, Guiliano Bartoli
,a rich Italian client,
sent
for
him(S)
saying(=while he(G) said)
,
"I
'd
like you to paint my portrait/
for a wall /in my banquet hall.
Could you do it? The space is 20 feet tall."
"No, I
'm about to
retire, so I'm not available.
I'm sorry. I simply cannot paint your portrait."
Seeing(=after he saw)
the disappointment /
in Senior Bartoli's eyes,
he
thought
and then
continued
,
You do not have to pay me.
Just

provide
/
me
/
room and board
/
(=provide room and board for me)
and
that
will be fine.
Furthermore,
you
need
not pose.
I have an excellent memory.
I have your other portrait
and I can draw a new
one
bas
ed
on
it
.
But I
insist
,
Senior Bartoli
,
/
while I work
,
(that) your portrait
(should)

stay
private,
even from you!"
"Ah, but
there is
a possibility,/
if
you
allow
me
/
to
explore the limits of my abilities.
"Of course," he said.

"Anything
(that)
you wish,
but I
insist

upon
pay
ing
you
/at least something
/for your work.

Let's write a contract."
(Being) Unknown
to Bartoli,

l'Abbaye

had longed

to paint in his own way
,
which
did not conform
to the Byzantine or the Proto-Renaissance style of the day.
L'Abbaye
had wanted

to break free
from the rules of painting.
The guild would never have

allowed

it
, however,
so he
had
always
followed
their rules,
though he
was

never proud
of it.
Of course
he did not reveal
this

to Senior Bartoli /
as
they signed the contract.
Bartoli tried
to
peek,
but l'Abbaye insisted
on
total privacy
for his artistic expression.
Answering him from behind the curtain, Monsieur l'Abbaye said, "It's coming quite well.
You know, at the age of eight I was apprentice to the great Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
Reluctantly, Senior Bartoli withdrew.
I could never dishonor his name.
He taught me the art of grinding pigment, laying plaster, sometimes slowly, sometimes faster.
He taught me how to draw and, most important, not to hurry.
My training was rigorous and after certification even more vigorous. Senior Bartoli, a masterpiece... takes a while at least."
Lorenzetti was highly influenced by both Byzantine art and classical art forms, and used these to create a unique and individualistic style of painting. His work was exceptionally original.
"It's coming well," said Monsieur l'Abbaye, again from behind the curtain.
Along with his words came the strange sounds of swooshing, clanking and slapping.
"You know you're fortunate it's I painting your portrait. Only buon fresco will do.
It's four coats of lime plaster.
First layer the trullisatio, followed by the arriccio, then the anenato and finally the intonaco not to mention the part where I draw.
But it's the best plaster process I ever saw. Senior Bartoli, it will last forever, but alas, it's a time-consuming endeavor."
Another three, four months passed and finally half a year went by.
Stepping from behind the cloth as though surprised by such anger, Monsieur l'Abbaye said calmly.
Senior Bartoli, the patron, marched in demanding of Monsieur l'Abbaye, the master artist, to see his portrait,
"You must be finished by now and today I will see it!" he shouted, shaking with frustration.
"That's fine. You needed only to request it." And he pulled aside the 20-foot curtain.
"How absurd, how obscene. What does this mean?
So what had Monsieur l'Abbaye drawn that was wrong?
If truth be told Monsieur l'Abbaye wasn't crazy, surely. He'd simply been born 500 years too early!
He did a little hop, and then a twitch, and his eyebrows contorted as though bewitched.
Guiliano Bartoli obviously did not like his portrait, not a bit.
Guiliano Bartoli threw a fit.
You'll not receive one Florine, do you hear?
You're not an artist, maybe a thief or a madman.
Get out of my sight!
You'll leave my house tonight or I'll throw you out!"
He couldn't see it, he'd fussed and fixed for so long.
It was his masterpiece. He wasn't sorry, no, not at all, that he had drawn to his heart's content for 20 feet tall.
No matter what anybody could say, Monsieur Signy l'Abbaye had drawn it his way.
Perhaps his patron couldn't tolerate his obsession with cubist expression, but Picasso would have been proud!
Q. Why did the artist's eyes flash?
A. That's because he could paint the way he wanted.
Q. What did a rich client ask l'Abbaye to paint?
A. The client asked him to paint his portrait.
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