Monday, 17 September 2012

72 - Portrait of Ginny

Leonardo da Vinci, Ginevra de' Benci

The street-market traders outside the once fashionable Florentine window are a strain on Ginny’s nerves, and she looks away for distraction.
“Please don’t move, signorina”, says Leo.
She sighs and resigns herself to the tiresome young man’s lens. She practices her Italian by trying to understand his ramblings. He seems to mutter to himself about too much light, of wanting to throw the background out of focus. Small wonder he wants to blur it, she thinks, having chosen juniper and laurel branches as a backdrop. What was he thinking: questo pazza?
She supposes her lover Bernie – is he her lover? she wonders – is too stingy - ‘avaro’ or ‘trichio’? - to have paid for Andreas himself to take her picture. Instead she has this apprentice; has to make do with ‘From the studio of …’ rather than ‘By …’; the lot of the mantenuta, the kept woman.
Will things be different once she marries Louis?

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