THE SCULPTOR


Raphael was sitting in his spacious studio surrounded by his marbled sculptures. Some of them he couldn’t have managed to sell but the most of them he’d been unwilling to put up for sale at all. The twilight caused by the ajar window shades pleased him, and he enjoyed the barely perceivable scent of marbled dust left over in the corners of the studio.
      Here, in his favorite shelter, he always felt well. Here it was agreeable and safe. The view at all his bygone creations – the result of so many decades of his artistic inspiration and so much of his sustained efforts – filled him with quiet satisfaction.
      He didn’t touch a chisel or a mallet for so long – for how long, actually? He was not a sculptor any more. If he’d ever have been a sculptor at all.
      Under his elbow he felt a rustle of paper. On the work table was a journal, growing yellow with age. On the first page Raphael saw his own photo. Ah, had he ever been so damned young and so handsome? The old man felt after his specs and glanced at the title under the photo:
      ‘Trying to revive the Raphael’s era?
      The reviewer of the first Raphael’s exhibition obviously tried to allude to the famous Italian painter and sculptor Rafaello Sanzio from the early 16th century. The old man opened the next magazine where he chose a paragraph at random:
      ‘… from the mere beginning of Raphael’s artistic career he believes each model must be able to recognize himself or herself in the statue – instead to be forced to guess what could be that hybrid of octopus and a crushed computer. All the time he keeps showing his sincere admiration of the classical masterpieces, from the ancient Greeks onwards. He considers the human body contains so much hidden beauty which is worth to reveal again and again and not being deformed under the pretenses of…’
      Raphael winced when he heard a knocking on the door. He frowned for he disliked being disturbed here in his sanctuary.
     “It’s open.” He was annoyed for his voice trembled a bit.
      A middle-aged woman dressed as a wealthy manager entered the studio but the old man stopped her raising his hand.
     “Just a moment, please.” Now he managed already to control his voice.       He began to stagger tediously among his sculptures glancing at each of them and watchfully reading their names engraved in the pedestals.
      He stopped in front of one of them. Then he turned around to his visitor and a gentle smile took out the most of the wrinkles on his face.
     “Hello Celia, my beloved daughter!”


THE END