Art: Good Red Draftsman

A ragged, angry-eyed youth rushed into a Rome art gallery one day six years ago, and thrust a portfolio full of drawings at the startled proprietor. "You must buy these," he said. "I don't have enough to eat!" The dealer accepted the portfolio, pressed a few dollars' worth of lira notes into the stranger's hand, and got rid of him. Then he looked at his purchase.

The drawings, done in squiggly pen lines and ink washes, pictured the battered buildings and tattered people of Portonaccio, a slum on the eastern outskirts of Rome. Sharp...

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