Thursday, September 15, 2011

Twilight: Irresistible Destiny - Chapter 8 -

Books » 310 series » Twilight: Impossible Destiny
Author: seymourblogger
Rated: M - English - Fantasy/Romance - Published: 08-31-11 - Updated: 09-09-11id:7342016
Twilight: Irresistible Destiny


We are taking a private gondola to the art show. The vaporetto would be a noisy beast now, and the age old swaying motion of the gondoliers, so proud of their inherited skill, create such a quiet time for lovers like us. Edward says there will just be some tourists there, not the crowd that was at the opening. In fact we may have it to ourselves at times.

"So why are you in Venice, Bella?"

"Hmmmm. Other than the real reason you mean. Well, I'm a psychic," I say. "An expensive one. My client wants me to go to Livorno. It used to be Leghorn, you know. Anyway she wants me to find which canal Modigliani threw his sculptures in."

"What!" He says. "You were sent here to do what!"

"What. You didn't know this?" I say.

"No. We're talking about millions and millions of dollars here."

"I suppose so. All as a result of a major temper tantrum."

"Tell me the story."

Modigliani's Birthplace  - Leghorn
"Modigliani came from a wealthy privileged family in Livorno. He went to Paris to continue his art there because Livorno was so staid, so normal, so, well, you know. And Paris was the center of it all then. He drank a lot, used drugs a lot, but still he painted a lot. Then he became interested in sculpture. He didn't have any money so he used the cheap sandstone that was available in Paris, but it was soft, dusty and he already coughed a lot. He was on his way to tuberculosis even then. So it made him sick to use the sandstone. There's one of his sandstone carytids on the steps at the Barnes foundation in Merion. Have you seen it?"

"I have."

"I would bet all the canals in Venice that we just missed each other there."

Modigliani Drawing -  Museum Modern Art 1914
"Yes. I was supposed to go one day. I had the appointment. But something happened, I forget what, and I had to reschedule. I would not be surprised if you were there the day I was supposed to be there and couldn't go. Continue", he ordered with a smile.

I am imagining what would have happened if we had met at the Barnes. The beautiful grounds, the incredible aura of the place. I'm looking at him and I forget everything I was saying. My breathing hitches. The gondola is hitting choppy waters here and I don't dare move and rock the boat. The water is filthy.

"I forget what I was talking about."

"You were telling me about Modigliani."

"Oh," I said. "Yes. Yes I was. Now I remember."

Modigliani Drawing - Barnes(?) 1914 
I continue. "So he decided to pay his family a visit, go home, and use the wonderful and cheap marble they had in Livorno, Leghorn then, and spend the summer making sculptures out of it. He did. And they must have been lovely, breathlessly beautiful. At the end of the summer he gave a show of his work. It was laughed at, ridiculed, denounced, trashed. Just like Albert Barnes's collection. He was so furious he got a wheelbarrow, piled them in and went to the canal and dumped them. Very impulsive. Really a major temper tantrum as I said. And then he went back to Paris, drank, did drugs, made art and

"And they are still there? I can't believe that."

"Well, it's very silty mud, and it's been so long, they figure that during the bombing in World War II they were buried so deeply by then that they were covered with it and protected. But this bit of information is in a biography that's not very academic, and no one reads it because it was written for a popular reading audience, so no one has looked for them.

"Besides the Italian government would never allow them to leave the country, which would make it difficult to make a fortune on them. Difficult, but not impossible and I think that's what my client has plans to do. But she can't go digging around a bunch of canals because then she would be above the radar. If she can precisely locate them, then she can pretend to be doing something else as she digs them up. Once they are out of the country they can be, you know, found somewhere, hidden in a barn or something, just waiting to be discovered by someone who happens by.

It's a creative plan if she can pull it off. So I am supposed to intuit where he dumped them. But I'm in Venice because I thought as long as I was so close, I might as well see it. And Alice wanted me to look at the art show, so that's why I'm here."

"But I know why I'm really here," she said darkly.

He looks at me in disbelief. Astonishment.

"I will go with you."

"Yes, I already know that you will. What point would there be to separate."
And I stop talking and just gaze at him without thinking of anything at all. I'm just looking and breathing, just looking and breathing. That's all.

I am beginning to tremble again, but now it's deep inside me.

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