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This poem is taken from PN Review 235, Volume 43 Number 5, May - June 2017.

European Hours Anthony Rudolf
For Paula Rego

LISBON. To your azulejos tiles, commissioned by the Marquis of Fronteira for the garden of his Palacio.

To Saint Vincent’s Panels by Nuno Gonçalves and Bosch’s triptych The Temptation of Saint Anthony in the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga.

To your paintings in the chapel of the President’s palace at Belém (and to a house of stories twenty miles away).


LONDON. To Piero di Cosimo’s Battle of the Lapiths and the Centaurs in the National Gallery, a favourite picture you always study closely.

To your studio and its contents: mannequins, costumes and masks; pastels, pencils and charcoal sticks; tubes of acrylics, traditional oil paint and water-mixable oil.

To the music in your studio: Amalia, Mariza and Camané; Mouloudji, Montand and Patachou; Rigoletto, La Traviata and Carmen.

To ‘Kubla Khan’ (‘For he on honey-dew hath fed, / And drunk the milk of paradise’), always read aloud after dinner – with you joining in – from my old and battered Albatross Book of Living Verse, which my father bought me at the Festival of Britain in 1951.


PARIS. To Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa in the Louvre. You would like to do a picture that size. ‘The figure there, face down: Delacroix was the model.’ ‘He was influenced/ inspired by Géricault’, you reply. (Which word did you use? Maybe both.)

To the art of Victor Hugo seen in his house, 6 Place des Vosges. You praise the drawings and sketches.

To the paintings and books in the apartment of a poet and a painter, rue Lepic.

To Raymond Mason’s sculptures: The Crowd in the Tuileries and The Expulsion of Fruit and Vegetables from the Heart of Paris, Feb 28th 1969 in Saint-Eustache Church, Les Halles.


LAKE ORTA. To the life-size terracotta and wooden figures on the Sacro Monte.

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