Thursday, December 12, 2013

To accept the offer of having a painting commissioned of myself for another is no small thing. I know it will be of much talk once it is revealed, especially as it has been decided that we shall honour the gods of the Ancient realms, and I only pray that I can do justice to the beauty of Aphrodite. The artist must have a talent greater than the looks I have been blessed with so as not to anger nor misrepresent in any way.

The Duke has left me in the artist's capable hands, but I have to admit I was more than surprised when I first laid eyes on the creative candidate. The Duke of Albany failed to mention that the artist is no man, but rather a woman of great beauty in her own right ~ no wonder she pays such care and consideration to the female form. I am glad that I saw some of her work before it was revealed that she was a woman. I have heard of no respectable lady having the fortune to be blessed with the talent of more than a hand for drawing, but the Duke assured me that we do not swim in the same circles. What he meant by that, I cannot even begin to fathom.

The artist was dressed most modestly and I felt like a peacock on display as I waited for her arrival in all my finery. She paid no heed to the jewels that adorned my throat, and she meticulously pulled the rings off my fingers, the precious gems glinting in the winter sunlight, but even they could not catch her attention. It wasn't until I stood there in front of her in nothing but the body that God has blessed me with that she began to show any interest in me at all.

She walked around me, feeling the contours of my body, and I shivered beneath her touch, grateful for the roaring fire to keep me warm. She made a few notes and a few pencil sketches while I waited for her to finish her appraisal. Never have I felt so naked before another human being, not even after the scandal in Iberia, and I know that sounds silly, but the artist scrutinized me with an eye for detail that I could not ignore. 

Not many words were shared between the two of us and it is not often that I find myself speechless. I wonder what the relationship is between the Duke of Albany and this artist, how did they meet, where did she come from, what is her story? I shall have to interrogate him when I next lay eyes on him. 

I now have a weekend in the City of a Hundred Spires to look forward to before the artist and I meet again for our first sitting. We have a busy week ahead of us as the Duke and I continue to make arrangements for the Christmas tidings. Belle has invited us to her abode in the Northern Counties to see in the New Year, and I heard the wondrous news that the Irish lady of Corcaigh shall also be joining us. 

How much can change in a year. As always I get a little pensive over the winter months, but truly I am content. Even though this artist is a little disconcerting...

D. S.