Pictures of Fidelman
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This is the story in art of the painter Arthur Fidelman, born in the Bronx and spending years of his life in Italy--Rome, Milan, Florence and Venice--pursuing his tumultuous career through adventure and misadventure. What perhaps saved him from disaster (Fidelman is a comic hero whose every next step is a trap sprung by bad luck as though his luck were good) is that he kept his finger in art, perhaps without knowing it seeking "perfection of the life" as well as the work. Six pictures of Fidelman comprise an exhibition.
with the padrone for the use of a room. Angelo registered the former art student, gave him a tiny dark room, and pointing a gun, relieved him of his passport and the contents of the Texan’s wallet. He warned him that if he ratted to anybody, he would report him to the Questura where his brother presided, as a dangerous alien thief. The former art student, desperate to escape, needed money to travel, so he sneaked into Angelo’s room one morning and from the strapped suitcase under the bed,
combing her reddish-gray locks. Another fed pigeons with a crust of bread they approached and pecked at. One, not so old, in a homely floppy velvet hat, he gazed at twice; in fact no more than a girl with a slender youthful body. He could stand a little sexual comfort but it cost too much. Holding the Madonna tightly to his chest, the painter hastened into the woodworker’s shop. Alberto Panenero, the proprietor, in a brown smock smeared with wood dust and shavings, scattered three apprentices
celebrate, took Esmeralda to the Uffizi in the afternoon and explained some of the great works of art to her. She didn’t always understand his allusions but was grateful. “You’re not so dumb,” she said. “One picks up things.” That evening they went to a movie and afterward stopped for a gelato in a café off the Piazza della Signoria. Men looked her over. F stared them down. She smiled at him tenderly. “You’re a lot more relaxed when you’re working on the Madonnas. When you’re painting with
wedding ring that I kept in my pocket so many years. The Italians are a humane people. They took the money and let me go but they told me not to peddle more.” “So what do you do now?” “I peddle. What should I do, beg?—I peddle. But last spring I got sick and gave my little money away to the doctors. I still have a bad cough.” He coughed fruitily. “Now I have no capital to buy stock with. Listen, professor, maybe we can go in partnership together? Lend me twenty thousand lire and I will buy
thinking of the long diligent labor, how painstakingly he had built each idea, how cleverly mastered problems of order, form, how impressive the finished product, Giotto reborn! It broke the heart. What else, if after months he was here, still seeking? And Fidehnan was unchangingly convinced that Susskind had taken it, or why would he still be hiding? He sighed much and gained weight. Mulling over his frustrated career, on the backs of envelopes containing unanswered letters from his sister