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The Artist
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The Unknown Woman
The Ironic Side Step

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The Artist
An aspiring artist visits a rich young woman's home.
[687 words]
J Shartzer
[March 2005]
[email protected]
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The Artist
J Shartzer

Scene I



  Painter�s friend

  Old couple
Narrator: Two young men, one carrying art supplies, the other relaxing on the ground, are quietly conversing outside of a large house. They can hear footsteps coming from below them. It�s an old couple, out f or a walk and enjoying the sunshine.

Old man: Good afternoon. What are you gentleman doing sitting around on a fine day like this?

Painter: Waiting.

Old man: What brings you to Mrs. d� Este�s home?

Painter�s friend: She wants him to paint a picture for her.

Old woman (to Painter): You paint? My husband�s a painter.

Old man: I like to paint sometimes. I consider myself more of a sculptor, though.

Painter�s friend: I�m a pretty good sculptor.

Old man: Oh? Are you here to sculp something for Mrs. d�Este?

Painter�s friend: Uh, no. I�m going to wait outside.

Old woman (to Old man): We have to get going. You have that project on the Sistine Chapel today.

Old man: Oh that�s right. Best of luck with your painting.

Painter: Thank you.

Old woman: It was nice meeting you boys.

Painter: You too.

The door of the house opens and a servant steps out.

Servant: You may come in now.

Painter�s friend: Left us waiting long enough.

Painter: You weren�t invited anyway.

The painter follows the servant into the house, leaving his friend to wait outside.
Scene II



  Isabella d�Este

Narrator: The painter follows the servant into a lavishly decorated bedroom. Beautiful paintings adorn the walls, some are portraits of a young woman; others are landscapes of far away places. Around the room are shelves covered with small figurines, each made from a different stone. The painter is working deligently. The subject is a young woman, who is sitting, posed, on the end of the bed. Both are in idle conversation.

Painter: I like your art collection. And you say artists that you paid painted each?

Isabella: Yes. They paint a picture for me and if I like it, I pay them.

Painter: And your husband? Does he share the same taste in art?

Isabella: Mantua? He enjoys the paintings as much as I do, but he complains about how much money I spend on them. He�s so ungreatful. Did you know that he was captured during the war?

Painter: Yes, I heard.

Isabella: I defended him and won him his freedom. If it weren�t for me, he would probably still be rotting in that cell.

The Painter starts to reply, but is interrupted by a voice from behind.

Mantua: I would have earned my freedom before long myself dear. It was only a matter of time.

Mantua walks over to the Painter and looks at the painting over his shoulder.

Mantua (rubbing his chin): Not bad. Not as good as some of the other ones, but not bad.

Isabella: You should read The Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione, Mantua. You could use some manners.

Mantua: I�ve already read it.

Isabella: Perhaps you should reread it.

The Painter completes his painting and begins gathering his materials.

Painter: I�m finished, if I could have my money now.

Isabella: Oh, let me see it.

She rises from the bed and walks over to the easel and stands beside Mantua. She gazes at the painting and nods thoughtfully. She speaks:

Isabella: Well, I like it. I�ll get your money.

She walks over to her wardrobe and retrieves a small pouch. She hands it to the Painter, who accepts it greatfully.

Painter: Thank you very much

After putting the pouch in his breast pocket, the Painter exits leavng Isabella and Mantua alone.

Mantua: Couldn�t you have gotten that Michelangelo guy again? I liked him.

Isabella only shakes her head and smiles. She instructs one of the servents to hang the fresh painting with the others and leaves.

Mantua: Do you really think I need manners?

Mantua follows Isabella out of the room.



"I like the twist in the end with Michelangelo being the old man he bumps into. I thought the relationship between the manand wife could have been expanded. But it was good nevertheless." -- e. rocco caldwell.
"I agree...this is great...it could easily be expanded into a longer story. Really great!" -- KM (Michelle) .
"very good could have extended but great" -- bob, oklahoma, usa, oklahoma.
"i enjoyed it im also a writer you should have extended it you still have time to do it. GREAT!!!" -- jacob duhon, midwest city, usa, oklahoma.


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© 2003 J Shartzer
November 2003

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