The Deal of the Art

by Mark C. Wallfisch

Herb and Blanche were visiting New Orleans when they strolled by a display of painted street scenes hanging on the wrought iron fence at Jackson Square.  They paused.  A sixtyish, graying gentleman with a goatee and beret sitting in an aluminum lawn chair near the paintings beckoned to them.

“Do you like street scenes?” he asked.

“These are good.  How much is that one?” replied Blanche, pointing to an impressionistic sunny French Quarter painting that had a price tag of $300.

“Three hundred, but maybe I could let it go for just a bit less.  You know, I painted it this spring on Royal Street. I had to work every morning for a week, just to get the light and shading right.” Herb and Blanche whispered to each other and said they would have to think about it.  The man let them go and remained at his post in the lawn chair.

The next day, Herb and Blanche returned to the street-scene display and stood, staring at the same impressionistic sunny French Quarter painting.  They heard a shout-out to them.  “I worked on Royal Street in the spring, every day for a week.  See how the light and shade go together.”  Yes, that’s what the young woman in a bohemian dress sitting in the aluminum lawn chair said to them.

“Sold!” she exclaimed when Blanche calmly told her, “What the hell, $150.”

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