Saturday, 21 April 2012


"Always even-tempered, he spent most of his time out of doors, going on long expeditions even in the worst of weather, or when it was fine sitting on a camp stool somewhere near the house in his white smock, a straw hat on his head, painting watercolours. When he was thus engaged he generally wore glasses with grey silk tissue instead of lenses in the frames, so that the landscape appeared through a fine veil that muted the colours, and the weight of the world dissolved before your eyes. The faint images that Alphonso transferred on to paper, said Austerlitz, were barely sketches of pictures - here a rocky slope, there a small bosky thicket or a cumulus cloud - fragments, almost without colour, fixed with a tint made of a few drops of water and a grain of malachite or ash blue."
WG Sebald, Austerlitz, p124-126

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