Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Portrait of Battista Fiera -- Lorenzo Costa

See the picture.

Well he’s not going pay in cash or anything useful. He’s broke -- Elena’s sucked him dry. Sucked him dry and brought down the greater pox on him. He would have done better to have spent it on getting her a consultation with me. But she’d never have agreed. She goes to that old witch Dolores. Most of the ladies do. Dolores is good at childbirth, and she knows her herbs, I’ll give her that. But I’m the pox doctor. I’m the one who travelled all that way to study under the physicians of Arabia. And those girls needn’t worry about their secrets escaping (although it’s hard to hide the greater pox -- makes you wince, even thinking about those sores). I am both successful and discreet. Did I not cure... well someone you’ll have heard of who shouldn’t even have had the pox (not that I judge -- we all make mistakes when we are young).

In any case, I’m saying ‘yes’ to the portrait. I will hang it in my waiting room so patients can see who will treat them, who (I hope) they are paying. It will be a good likeness, I think. Those three of Elena that he’ll only show you when he’s had a few... you’d expect her to reach out of the picture and grab his knee. You’d expect to smell her; you’d expect to hear her gown rustle as she undresses.


jocko said...

This blog is a great idea.
More, more!
Get back to the galleries, I say!

vanburen said...

Really great. Borderline brilliant, actually. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

This is GREAT! I'm inspired to try something similar. Thank you for the inspiration. Oh and I also like the 43 Things site. I'll poke around it when I have more time...

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

I love this blog, Clare! And I did write a poem based on a painting. It's at

Thanks for reminding me of a great creative catalyst!