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In Bernini’s Studio
That smile of his ought to be illegal. She was standing too close to him for a biographer. Nevertheless, she moved closer. “You’ve made him so noble. Really, he wasn’t this beautiful,” she pointed out. From his surprise, she gathered that he wasn’t used to having his work critiqued. Of course, he was Bernini. Only his patrons had the power to criticize his art, and they seemed to universally consider it fabulous. The matter of fidelity wasn’t an issue in his time the way it was in hers.
“I show his stature in his eyes and forehead,” he said. “I reveal the rest of his nature in the face below the nose, where I capture his fondness for feasting. And even that is beautiful.”
“Beauty in his fat jowls?”
He laughed. “They say he has expansive meals.” He ran a loving hand over the clay. “I captured his face when he was about to speak, so you can read his lively thought. Perhaps it was of mutton!”
They both laughed, and she said, “This king’s image is beautiful in your eyes and under your hands.”
“I tried to imagine what would move this man. You’re a poet. You must be able to feel it when the strings of your heart make a music that becomes a stream of light. You stand in that light and fold your hands. If you are sincere, truth comes as the body of an angel. A visitation.”
She stepped closer and bowed. “Cavaliere, you are my stream of light.”
He laughed and pulled her up. “I was simply answering your question.”
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