a glass of Chianti
‘Are you going out?’
‘Yes, a boy came with a message. He wants me at the studio.’
‘He! You talk of him as if he’s God,’ Francesco spat. ‘I thought you said he was being thrown out for not paying the rent?’
‘He gave the landlord a painting.’
‘Hah, I doubt it’ll ever be worth anything.’
‘He’s a great artist,’ Lisa said. ‘Well respected, he has pupils. Sculptors as well as painters.’
Her husband stared for some time. ‘Do you only sit for him? You don’t lie down as well?’
‘Don’t be disgusting. He’s not like that.’
‘All men are like that, unless they’re queer,’ he mumbled.
‘He says that in time, my portrait will be revered. It will hang in an important Gallery and people will travel from all over the world to look at it.’
‘You what?’ he laughed. ‘What’s he on? I’ll have a bottle of what he drinks.’
She stood up, fastened the buttons on her jacket and picked up her bonnet.
‘And when will you be back?’ Francesco growled.
She shrugged. ‘Once the sun passes over the skylight, I suppose about five.’
‘Who’s going to get my dinner?’
‘Ask one of your whores, I gather you have a choice … perhaps that long haired one, Gina is it?’
He sat open-mouthed as she left, slamming the door behind her. She smiled as she walked along the passage into the Florentine sunshine.