"In my boyhood a brilliant novel was based on this idea. At the end of the eighteenth century a young hero of romance, in easy circumstance, wandering about Europe to gratify his love of ancient art, found himself in the classical cities of Italy. He was surrounded by sympathetic friends, who recognized that he had been born with fine tastes and talents, who listened to him appreciatively as he discoursed of Raphael, Guido, Salvator Rosa, and other favourite masters. After some less important artistic experiments criticized by an academic friend as wanting orthodox arrangements; although interrupted by an engrossing love affair and by efforts to discover the true elixir of life, the amateur artist shut himself up in a weird chamber, and on the white walls he elaborated a composition representing the "Judgment of the Dead by the Living. " It was a masterpiece, as such a noble subject merited it should be.

"Pictures are not produced thus. Long years are needed to train the eye and hand before a man can represent on a flat surface any forms of creation under the simplest of conditions; the difficulty grows in compound ratio with intricate design of moving figures, and the immature artist's illustration of so sublime a theme would tax more than the extreme indulgence of the most partial friends."

 

This I thought summed up the entire ordeal with my first 'grandiose painting.' The title Hunt mentioned was perfect, I adopted it immediately, regarding it not only conceptually correct but also as my personal statement of my defeat in painting. Holman Hunt titled the introduction (I only related part of it) with these words—"I am but a single voice— Theocritus. " Anyway, thinking you might be interested in all this I chose a detail from the line version of Judgement of the Dead, by the Living for the cover of this book, I hope you like it.

The almost paradoxical duality of being an artist and a publisher has led to some confusing situations. As an artist my concern is for inner achievement, discovering myself and creating work through those discoveries. As a publisher I have to control (edit) myself so that I stay at least in fashion, at best a roaring success. The thirty hand- painted sets of The Four Ages, and the fifty painted Something ic waes were perhaps a high point in this straining dual identity. As the publisher of the material I should be delighted that my products can command the fantastic prices dealers were greedily demanding of their patrons, for it's a quotable success for me. As the artist of the pieces I became outraged at the constant reports of the colour Something ic waes (for one) being bought from GbP by a dealer for $50.00, the price I consider they're worth, and being resold to an unsuspecting customer for $250.00 or $300.00.