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In Jail For Debt

In Jail For Debt image
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Public Domain
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The following anecdote is told of M. Wiertz, the celebrated Germán painter, who was sometimes oalled the Crazy ArtLst: After having finished the portait of the old aristocratie Countess de M , who pretended to be only thirty when nearly sixty years of age, she refused to accept i the painting, saj'ing that it did not look anythinglike her; that her most intímate friends would not recognize a single feature of hers on piece of canvass. Wiertz suiiled kindly at the remark, and, as a true knight of old, reconducted, pallantly, thn lady to her carriage. The next morning there was a grand disturbance in Eue de la Madeleine. A big crowd was gathered before a window, and the following words were wlnspered from ear to ear : " Is the wealthy Countess de M rcally in jail for her debts?" Wiertz had exercised a little vengeance towards his noble but unfair customer. As soon as she had refusod the portrait, he had set to work and paiuted a few iron bars on the picture, with these words, " In jail for debt." He exhibited the painting in a jewoler's window, in the principal street of Brussels. The effect was instantaneous. A few houra later the Countess was back at Wiertz's studio, pouring invectives upou hiui at high pressure, to have exhibited her likeness under such seandalous, etc. " Most noble lady," was the artist's reply, "you.said the painting did not look anything like yourself, and that your most intimate frionds would not havo recognized a single one of your features in the pioturo. I wanted simply to test the truth of your statement, that is all." The portrait was taken away, the city laughed, the artist charged doublé price and gave the amount to the poor of the city.


Old News
Michigan Argus