This novel explores the mysterious -- and, for the protagonist, tragic -- interaction of love and creativity.
tering-places at some distance, which had so much revived his love for Paris that after his return he could not bring himself to leave it.
As a matter of custom, the young girl should not have returned home until autumn, but her father had suddenly conceived a plan for her marriage, and sent for her that she might meet immediately the Marquis de Farandal, to whom he wished her to be betrothed. But this plan was kept quite secret, and Madame de Guilleroy had told only Olivier Bertin of it, in strict confidence.
"Then your husband's idea is quite decided upon?" said he at last.
"Yes; I even think it a very happy idea."
Then they talked of other things.
She returned to the subject of painting, and wished to make him decide to paint a Christ. He opposed the suggestion, thinking that there was already enough of them in the world; but she persisted, and grew impatient in her argument.
"Oh, if I knew how to draw I would show you my thought: it should be very new, very bold.