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The Story Of A Portrait

The Story Of A Portrait image
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Pr 'ktbly Chicago's first painting with a histLïy was an excellent portrait of one of her fairest citizens; - u belle of 183?. Fine work as it was, however, at oue time there was imminent danger of its becoruiug a decorativo signboard of a promineut local livery stable. Long bef ore the days of the iron horse a waiidering artist strayed along what is now the corner of Lake and Clark streets, and there opened a studio. Among the early patrons of his brush was a dazzling creature who yearned to have her beauty .perpetua ted upon canvas. She was a leader in the swelldor.i of the town, the adored object of both secret and outspoken admiration of all the bachelors of her set. Her family had not come over in the Mayflower, but her blood was the most cerulean in the faraway down east whence it came. Hënce it was with propriety that she proposed to gratify her ambition, and posed, bedecked with a wonderful "amazoue" andwaving numberless plumes, disporting herself with equanimity on the back of a rearing, plungiug steed. The artist had a fine subject. Needless to say he rendered it full justice. When the canvas was flnished, the iinpressive ensemble was placed upon exhibition in the artist 's studio, andeverybody who was anybody dropped in and lavished his admiration upon it. After a time the novelty of the display wore off. People had seen all they wanted of it, but the fair equestrienne's portrait still hung npon its creator's walls, unclaimed, and, alas, unpaid for. The landlord of the embryonic Sir Joshua Reynolds grew unpleasant to him. He became addicted to the abominable habit of "dropping in" upon the young artist and making unnecessary remarks about "the rent" at all kinds of inopportune momeuts, until at last life becarue a burden to the child of art, and in despair he decided to return to his native east and abandon all his drearns of farne in the wild prairie town of the west. Among the inartistic and unpretentious citizens of the town was a certain highly prosperous stable keeper who was aware of the circurnstances connected with the unpaid for picture and the painter's impecuniosity. The night preceding the former's proposed depaxture for the city of his birth it was given out among the good people roundabout that the stable koeper had purchased the famous portrait for $500, and that henceforth it should be the attraction of his signboard over his new livery stable. The rumor spread like wildfire within a few hours, and at nightfall artist and stableman had the satisfaction of receiving a visit from the haughty relatives of the picture 's original. The required sum was gladly paid by thrn. Two hundred feil to the lot of the shrewd liverymaii, the painter received his first price, $300, and every one was serene over the historie transaction. -


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News