Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This is one of my favourite extracts from The Devil and Miss Prym I am unsure if it is true on not but even if it is just a stoy it is the story that made me think the most................!

The stranger, however, seemed determined to show that his culture was worth more than all the labours of the men and women in the bar. He pointed to a print hanging on the wall:

'Do you know what that is? It's one of the most famous paintings in the world: The Last Supper, painted by Leonardo da Vinci.'

'It can't be as famous as all that,' said the hotel landlady. 'It was very cheap.' 'That's only a reproduction: the original is in a church a long, long way from here. But there's a story about this picture you might like to hear.'

Everyone nodded, though once again Chantal felt ashamed to be there, listening to a man showing off his pointless knowledge, just to prove that he knew more than anyone else.

'When he was creating this picture, Leonardo da Vinci encountered a serious problem: he had to depict Good - in the person of Jesus - and Evil - in the figure of Judas, the friend who resolves to betray him during the meal. He stopped work on the painting until he could find his ideal models.

'One day, when he was listening to a choir, he saw in one of the boys the perfect image of

Christ. He invited him to his studio and made sketches and studies of his face.

'Three years went by. The Last Supper was almost complete, but Leonardo had still not found the perfect model for The cardinal responsible for the church started to put Judas. Pressure on him to finish the mural. 'After many days spent vainly searching, the artist came cross a prematurely aged youth, in rags and lying drunk in a gutter. With some difficulty, he persuaded his assistants to bring the fellow directly to the church, since there was no time left to make preliminary sketches.

'The beggar was taken there, not quite understanding what was going on. He was propped up by Leonardo's assistants, while Leonardo copied the lines of impiety, sin and egotism so clearly etched on his features.

'When he had finished, the beggar, who had sobered up slightly, opened his eyes and saw

the picture before him. With a mixture of horror and sadness he said:

'"I've seen that picture before!"

'"When?" asked an astonished Leonardo.

'"Three years ago, before I lost everything I had, at a time when I used to sing in a choir and my life was full of dreams. The artist asked me to pose as the model for the face of Jesus."'

There was a long pause. The stranger was looking at the priest, who was drinking his beer, but Chantal knew his words were directed at her.

'So you see, Good and Evil have the same face; it all depends on when they cross the path of each individual human being.'

He got up, made his excuses, saying he was tired, and went up to his room. Everyone

paid what they owed and slowly left the bar, casting a last look at the cheap reproduction of the famous painting, asking themselves at what point in their lives they had been touched by an angel or a devil. Without anyone saying a word to anyone else, each came to the conclusion that this had only happened in Viscos before Ahab brought peace to the region; now, every day was like every other day, each the same as the last.

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