Materials used: Green serge covering
“Aha!” he cried, “you did not expect to see such perfection! You are looking for a picture, and you see a woman before you. There is such depth in that canvas, the atmosphere is so true that you can not distinguish it from the air that surrounds us. Where is art? Art has vanished, it is invisible! It is the form of a living girl that you see before you. Have I not caught the very hues of life, the spirit of the living line that defines the figure? Is there not the effect produced there like that which all natural objects present in the atmosphere about them, or fished in the water? Do you see how the figure stands out against the background? Does is not seem to you that you pass you hand along the back? But then for seven years I studied and watched how the daylight blends with the objects on which it falls. And the hair, the light pours over it like a flood, does it not?…Ah! she breathed, I am sure that she breathed! Her breast –ah, see” Who would not fall on his knees before her? Her pulses throb. She will rise to her feet. Wait!”
“Did you see anything?” Poussin asked of Porbus.
“No… do you?”
“I see nothing.”
From THE UNKNOWN MASTERPIECE by Honoré De Balzac, 1845