Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Augustus John's 'Creature' Sells

19. 3. 20

Dear John,

Really, I'm hotter stuff than I thought: the wrathful portrait went off at top speed for a thousand to a Duke! That puts me for the moment easily at the head of the field in your selling plate. Of course I know you will naturally think the glory is yours--but I believe it's due to the exceeding beauty of my face . . . What do artists' models of the best sort fetch per hour (or perhaps per job, for I might fall on a Cezanne, and I don't want to get rich): It seem to me that I have a future. I went to your show last Thursday with Lionel Curtis. We were admiring me, and a person with a military moustache joined us and blurted out 'looks a bloody sort of creature doesn't he?' Curtis with some verve said 'Yes.' I looked very pink. Yours ever.

-from Chiaroscuro: Fragments of Autobiography First Series by Augustus John (London: Jonathan Cape, 1952) p. 246.

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