Art: Mess & Magic

All Pictures that's Painted with Sense & with Thought Are Painted by Madmen as sure as a Groat; For the Greater the Fool in the Pencil more blest, And when they are drunk they always paint best.

—William Blake, circa 1808

The pasty little man with the well-ripened nose sat fingering a razor blade.

At 45, he was one of Paris' most honored painters. Hundreds of people, mainly tarts and fellow artists, loved him as he loved liquor and sex. Doubtless some orgies were in him still, but his liver would not let him live long. He gazed, heavy-eyed, about his chaotic studio,...

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