Honore de Balzac
from chapter 1
In 1832, Fougeres lived in the rue de Navarin, on the fourth floor of one of those tall, narrow houses which resemble the obelisk of Luxor, and possess an alley, a dark little stairway with dangerous turnings, three windows only on each floor, and, within the building, a courtyard, or, to speak more correctly, a square pit or well. Above the three or four rooms occupied by Grassou of Fougeres was his studio, looking over to Montmartre. This studio was painted in brick-color, for a background; the floor was tinted brown and well frotted; each chair was furnished with a bit of carpet bound round the edges; the sofa, simple enough, was clean as that in the bedroom of some worthy bourgeoise. All these things denoted the tidy ways of a small mind and the thrift of a poor man. A bureau was there, in which to put away the studio implements, a table for breakfast, a sideboard, a secretary; in short, all the articles necessary to a painter, neatly arranged and very clean. The stove participated in this Dutch cleanliness, which was all the more visible because the pure and little changing light from the north flooded with its cold clear beams the vast apartment. Fougeres, being merely a genre painter, does not need the immense machinery and outfit which ruin historical painters; he has never recognized within himself sufficient faculty to attempt high-art, and he therefore clings to easel painting. ...go to paragraph
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