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I am here for a month, taking a cure and resting. I was worn out when I left Paris3, and that kind man, Bakst4, changed a number of engagements in order to be able to give me five more sittings when I get back. The portrait5 will require sixteen sittings, instead of ten, as we originally planned. I am afraid he finds me a difficult subject. Moreover, he changed his original intention in the first sitting and is doing a full half-figure, seated, and the hands. In the beginning he carefully explained to me when he did the figure and hands his fee was considerably more than for the head alone. Then, like most artists who try to be practical, he went right to work and painted it the way he saw it. It won't cost your committee any more this way, but it will take half a dozen more sittings than we had planned. Please tell them they are getting such good rates that they ought not to bother the man with requests for interviews!⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩
I am sending you Mrs. Shotwell's letter14 as I think you would be amused to see what an easy manner the lady has with a man who is accustomed to the most respectful formality in Paris. Fortunately he couldn't understand much of it. I didn't wish him to think her representative of the women of Omaha. I certainly didn't meet anyone like her when I was there.
Have you been at Aix, Judge Vinsonhaler? It's a charming place in the autumn, though I hate to exchange Paris for any other place in the world. Please address me still at Ville D'Avray15.Faithfully yours Willa Cather GRAND HOTEL DU NORD ET GRANDE-BRETAGNE AIX-LES-BAINS Mr. Duncan Vinsonhaler1 First National Bank Building Omaha10 Nebraska U. S. A. AIX LES BAINS SAVOIE2 8-9 23 8 45 Willa Cather