“They passed through the same rooms which the prince had traversed on his arrival. In the largest there were pictures on the walls, portraits and landscapes of little interest. Over the door, however, there was one of strange and rather striking shape; it was six or seven feet in length, and not more than a foot in height. It represented the Saviour just taken from the cross.
The prince glanced at it, but took no further notice. He moved on hastily, as though anxious to get out of the house. But Rogojin suddenly stopped underneath the picture.
‘My father picked up all these pictures very cheap at auctions, and so on,’ he said; ‘they are all rubbish, except the one over the door, and that is valuable. A man offered five hundred roubles for it last week.’
‘Yes—that’s a copy of a Holbein,’ said the prince, looking at it again, ‘and a good copy, too, so far as I am able to judge. I saw the picture abroad, and could not forget it—what’s the matter?’
Rogojin had dropped the subject of the picture and walked on. Of course his strange frame of mind was sufficient to account for his conduct; but, still, it seemed queer to the prince that he should so abruptly drop a conversation commenced by himself. Rogojin did not take any notice of his question.
‘Lef Nicolaievitch,’ said Rogojin, after a pause, during which the two walked along a little further, ‘I have long wished to ask you, do you believe in God?’
‘How strangely you speak, and how odd you look!’ said the other, involuntarily.
‘I like looking at that picture,’ muttered Rogojin, not noticing, apparently, that the prince had not answered his question.
‘That picture! That picture!’ cried Muishkin, struck by a sudden idea. ‘Why, a man’s faith might be ruined by looking at that picture!’
‘So it is!’ said Rogojin, unexpectedly. They had now reached the front door.
The prince stopped.”
from pierced fountains, fest’ring forth awful – Low
Such pastels paint a life that cannot last.
when was this criminal
the Door of Death hinges
either the potent possibility
of Holy Saturday?
or the cynical certainty
of Easter Monday?
Did morbid tendrils crawl across the limbs
which were risen so soon? So supposedly?
An anvil’s forged when the artist’s brush skims
his iron canvass – a metal altar upon which faith is crushed.
Gruesome talent hammers doubt home and trims
it tight to an undeniable truth. But still,
who conquered whom?