Monday, May 14, 2012

Favored by Muses

Versailles, 10th November 1713

--No shadows of sadness should be allowed to obscure such a beautiful face like yours, Milady...

Surprised, Princess Elisenda startled. Who was he, who so boldly had entered her garden? Surprise soon gave way to amazement however, when she suddenly realized the stranger had addressed to her in Catalan language --instead of French, as expectable in Versailles.

Even before the man introduced himself, she had already acknowledged him: he was Jacint Rigau, or Hyacinthe Rigaud as he was commonly known at Versailles, the King Louis famous courtly painter. Flattered by that elegant gentleman, Elisenda hurried inviting him to some coffee under the porch. The evening passed peacefully in company of the artist, who constantly abounded gentle courtoisies to the young princess, amidst a casual conversation plentiful of funny gossips about the inhabitants of Versailles --just what she needed for calming her mind.

At a given moment, Rigau switched to a totally different subject, however: --You shouldn't be that restless about the French, my princess. It's only a matter of giving them time enough to digest the consequences of the treaty you're about to sign with them... As much time as you actually need, too.

--You aren't going to get from them all what you dreamt, of course --he continued--. Not immediately, at least. Allow them to turn down their distrust towards you Catalans, just as they must give you time for relying on them.

--You're right, Jacint --she admitted--. It's far from easy to erase a several centuries old enmity.

--Such will be your job henceforth --he added with a tone of confidence--, for I'm persuaded King Louis is going to ratify you as Princess. Duke of Orléans has already paved the way for it.

Given such confidence, Elisenda experienced an intense relief, and her face reflected it.

--So I like! --Rigau enthusiastically exclaimed-- You're glowing like a goddess when you smile... By the way, I've started painting a Birth of Venus, and I was wondering whether you'd consent in... er... being my model.

--A Birth of Venus? --Elisenda blushed-- ...but... isn't she always depicted nude there?

--For sure --he admitted with a malicious smile.

She wouldn't reprime a nervous, playful laughter: --Er... when would you like to start?

--Evening is always favored by Muses...


abdul666 said...

Would not be *such* a problem for the Lady, if she remembers the young years of Lisette in Monte-Cristo :-)

Soldadets said...

Of course, she's not that naïve to believe even for a moment that sunset time is good for painting, by any mean...

Whatever the purpose in our artist's mind, no doubt she's anticipated it. And... well... I thought our heroine was worth some... er... relax ;)