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[Tidbits] Le Jeweler ... Who Is He?

Everyone knows who he is. No one has ever seen a piece of his
jewelry. He began his earliest training at the Petite cole in Paris
where he studied drawing and where he flunked out. And so…
necessity being the shield against starvation… he began a new
career as a jeweler and a ceramic painter.

And then he entered the studio of Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse and
in his first year completed a work that revealed his interest in
naturalism and was promptly rejected by the official Salon as
unfinished. Carrier-Belleuse then moved to Brussels… and our
jeweler promptly followed him and formed an independent workshop
where he began his struggles to make a name for himself and become
recognized in his chosen profession.

It was during a subsequent trip to Italy where our jeweler–no
longer a jeweler–became exposed to the likes of Michelangelo and
Donatello and classical antiquity. He then created a work so
life-like that some thought it was made from the cast of a real man.

I digress for a moment. I am trying very hard not to name the names
of his works… for they are all so well known that each and every
one of you would instantly know who he is. This of course precludes
the possibility that you all know now anyway. But just in case… one
little addendum… since his work is so well known… I have replaced
the face of the work I am going to show you with that of my own in a
feeble attempt at complete camouflage. The success of this endeavor
will only be proof of my adroitness. The heady excitement that this
will surely create in all your souls however … is understandably
beyond comprehension. I hereby disclaim any responsibility for any
medical condition that might arise from the shock caused by this
phenomenon. That said… I shall continue.

Finally… recognition. No longer would our jeweler have to hold
torch and tweezers in hand. No longer would he have to endure the
mundane requests of the hoi-polloi to make them something special for
the upcoming affair they were attending next week where they would
die… just simply die… if they didn’t have something nicer to wear
upon their bosom than that bitch Marie who always walked around with
one of those I’m better than you attitudes. For our Hero–notice he
no longer a jeweler–for our hero received a commission from the
French government for the Bronze doors of the Musee des Arts
Decoratifs. Dates are omitted on purpose.

And then the citizens of Calais asked our hero to create a monument
honoring six men who had sacrificed their lives to end the English
siege of their city. Once more his work was criticized… this time
for having depicted the men as victims rather than heroes. And on and
on it went. Criticism followed criticism. Once he responded by
“My principle is to imitate not only form, but life.”

Eventually… a museum was named after him… and he became world
famous… as he remains even to this day… 167 years after his
birth. Rather than show you his true work… I will show you a slight
alteration as mentioned above. And since I could find no record of
his work as a jeweler… I created a virtual cufflink in gold… made
from the altered version of one of his great masterpieces. I hope he
doesn’t mind–wherever he is. It’s all done in good sport old man. So
now… do you know who he is? No peeking yet. Let me know.

If you’re stumped… take a look see… and then let me know. If my
visage detracts… and you still can’t figure it out… let me know
that too. All that said… let me bid you all a fond adieu.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and then click on it in order to view image of a
cufflink taken from an altered image of a sculpture.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark