My Benefactor Was Fond Of
Bringing Me Forward; And Partly, Perhaps, Through My Actual Skill, And
Partly By His Partial Praises, I Began To Be Noted For The Expression
Of My Countenances.
Among the various works which he had undertaken, was an historical
piece for one of the palaces of Genoa, in which were to be introduced
the likenesses of several of the family.
Among these was one entrusted
to my pencil. It was that of a young girl, who as yet was in a convent
for her education. She came out for the purpose of sitting for the
picture. I first saw her in an apartment of one of the sumptuous
palaces of Genoa. She stood before a casement that looked out upon the
bay, a stream of vernal sunshine fell upon her, and shed a kind of
glory round her as it lit up the rich crimson chamber. She was but
sixteen years of age - and oh, how lovely! The scene broke upon me like
a mere vision of spring and youth and beauty. I could have fallen down
and worshipped her. She was like one of those fictions of poets and
painters, when they would express the beau ideal that haunts their
minds with shapes of indescribable perfection.
I was permitted to sketch her countenance in various positions, and I
Fondly protracted the study that was undoing me. The more I gazed on
her the more I became enamoured; there was something almost painful in
my intense admiration.
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