Thursday, December 8

Still Life with Apples by Lawrence Gowing
Still Life with Apples by Lawrence Gowing

APPLE: Try and remember what I am. I am alive, not a studio property or a figment of thought, or a peg to hang tone values on. I am an apple.


APPLE: And an apple is an organism of some dignity, greater perhaps than a painter's, and with a longer history.

PAINTER: I am afraid there is no question of painting your history.

APPLE: I reminded you of it in passing.

PAINTER: And your dignity, you thought I needed reminding of that? I respect your dignity.

APPLE: But even your respect, your bare respect is not immoderate.

PAINTER: What more is due to you?

APPLE: I am a fruit, a feast, a reproductive organ.

PAINTER: Shall I sell you or eat you, if you prefer it, or sow your pips?

APPLE: I would prefer not to forgo my functions merely in order to be judiciously measured until I wrinkle and rot.

PAINTER: Come, come. I am very fond of you, you know. If your fate disturbs you ...

APPLE: Does my ripeness, my round lustre, mean nothing to you? A summer has done its best to make me an attractive prize, make my shape an irresistible invitation. And yet you resist me.

PAINTER: I am quite distressed.

APPLE: Look at your picture and at me. I offered you a taste of the ravishment to which the ages have not been indifferent. I gave you a clue to a receding perspective of life which men have found good, of work done and appetites satisfied. But you have seen only a cultivated commonplace, an artistic impression. Really the Greek painter who deceived the birds did better.

PAINTER: I am sorry, you must believe me ...

-- Lawrence Gowing Painter and Apple