Dream Teacher ~ At the Heart of Art


In answer to the daily prompt Dream Teacher: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/dream-teacher/

“That is good Valentina. But now you must be off. I have guests coming.”
“But Master…”
“Not today bella regazza. I know you like to learn but today is mine.”
She curtsied; the master didn’t want apprentices. He liked being thought of as a sort of hermit whose habits lacked hygiene. The squalid and dark apartment was as uninviting as could be. The truth is that he was a little like a monk. He cultivated few friendships and it was rare that people visited him here; it was really dirty. One might have thought the master was a beggar; he didn’t live as one with money. He cared not for it. Still when people came calling she must go elsewhere. If they must see her his guests would take her for a servant or a maid sent to him for some errand. More often than not Valentina didn’t mind; she actually dressed simply for this very reason – and the fact that one wouldn’t wear anything fancy to handle oil paints or clay. Still she mostly felt grateful for she was the only person who knew Master Michelangelo to be a not-so-patient teacher with a passion unequaled for many different subjects though most of the world only knew him for his paintings and sculptures.

Even as she left Valentina cast one glance behind; he hadn’t allowed her to handle marble and chisel yet but her latest painting stood proudly next to one of his sketches that would become a statue to ornate the Medici funerary chapter in the Basilica San Lorenzo. Of course anyone who looked closely would know this wasn’t the Master’s works but she felt pride that Master Michelangelo felt her work was worthy of standing next to one of his. That wasn’t the case for a long time; her first drawings and sketches finished in the fire – something she was mortified about for the Master reminded her constantly canvas wasn’t inexpensive. Then when she improved they lay sometimes forgotten in another room where no one but the two of them could see; these he looked at and gave advice as well as correction or directions on how to make this woman’s curve more natural or that cupid a little more chubby.

She had always wanted to learn with the master; ever since she first saw the Doni Madonna, the very beautiful painting he had made for her mother’s cousin on the occasion of his wedding. But he had taught her so much more than just drawing; his was a genius mind interested in poetry and engineering, philosophy and music. And though he had done it grudgingly at first sometimes being extremely rude as if he hoped to discourage her to come back she had enjoyed every minute of it. And through the past few months it seemed he had finally started to take pleasure in it too though it may be because she finally had achieved a measure of skills that he found he could work with. So tomorrow she would come back and learn some more… and maybe, just maybe he might show her how to use the chisel. She could only ever dream of making such a beautiful sculpture as his pieta but she would learn.

One day she might be able to create such pieces as would make people cry with such heartfelt passion as she had when she saw his works. Art that touched one’s heart. That’s what she hoped for.



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