Painting: Father for Today

The sun blazes on Majorca for ten months of the year. It lights the baked forms with a harsh kind of super-reality. The sallow leaves of a dead cactus writhe upward like a petrified fountain. A palm hangs against the sky like a bursting skyrocket. On the ground, a beetle crawls. Above it, crouches a man — no figment of a dream but a com pact figure with grey thinning hair, a potato nose, and dressed all in sober brown. "Once," he "I was passionate about insects. I painted many of them." In...

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