No.164. Odalisque. Last week, musing warmly upon reclining nudes by Titian, Giorgione, Rembrandt, Ingres, Courbet, Manet, Renoir, Modigliani, Matisse, Van Dongen and Picasso, he began a Grande Odalisque of his own. His supine figure, idealizable into roseate womanhood only by a generous elasticizing of the imagination, painted in black and white on a pink divan, was indeed so primitive in appearance, it more closely resembled one of Les Demoiselles of Picasso's Avignon than anyone he'd ever seen before. The figure was monstrous: heavy, helmeted, tomb-like.
But word of the painting had somehow got around. Yesterday, in the afternoon, he was visited by a couple of women from the neighborhood who, proclaiming themselves sometime-adherents of the Me Too Movement, accused him quite forcefully of demeaning women. He thought this absurd. If anything, he argued, the reptilian painting demeaned a great and noble part of art history. "Destroy the painting at once!" said Abigail Fortescue, who painted landscapes in a studio a few doors away. "Don't be silly," he said, guiding them gently but firmly to the door.

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