Carpaccio and Bacon

6 – Carpaccio and Bacon

A couple admiring a painting that we can’t see, and that is hung on an invisible wall.

Him – Panini, isn’t it ?

Her – Let’s see.

She gets closer and, leaning forward, reads the name of the painter above the frame.

Her – Not quite, it’s… Carpaccio.

Him – Of course…

They admire the painting for a while, and then move on to another one.

Her (playful) – Want to give it another try ?

Him – Okay…

He looks the painting carefully.

Him – Picasso…?

She glances at him to make him understand that he is wrong.

Him – Pissaro…?

Her – Pissaro… Picabia !

Him – Oh yes… I always mix them up.

They proceed to the next painting.

Him – Your turn ?

She looks at the painting carefully.

She – Manet…?

He reads the name above the frame.

Him – Monet !

She – Well…! It’s about the same, isn’t it ?

They go on.

She – Look ! They have got a lot of Bacon too…

He looks at her a little, not sure to understand. Then they go and look at the painting.

Her – It’s good, isn’t ?

Him – Yes, it’s…

Her – It’s Bacon.

Him – Yes…


Her (thoughtful) – Sometimes, I wonder…

Him – What ?

Her – If I didn’t know it was Bacon, would I find it so good ?

He looks at her, surprised.

Her – If I didn’t know that these paintings are worth millions ! Let’s be frank. Imagine that you have never heard of the Mona Lisa. You come across at the flea market. For sale. Three hundred pounds. Can you say for certain that you would hang her up above the fireplace ? This dope with her silly smile ?

He thinks about it.

Him – We do not have a fireplace, anyway…

Her – No, let’s be honest, even if we have visited dozens of museums and hundreds of exhibitions, would we really be able to see the difference between a piece of shit and a masterpiece…?

Him – We’ll never be able to tell. You don’t see anything but masterpieces in museums. It’s not fair, by the way. In all museums, they should save a room to expose just really crap stuff. The principal of the placebo test, you see ? Just to check out if the other paintings are really beautiful, or if we find them so just because they told us that they were.

Her – Anyway… Going to museum, it’s like going to church, isn’t ? One goes there for the atmosphere above all.

Him – Fortunately, you can practice even if you don’t believe… The same as for love…

She looks at him, not sure she’s understood.

Him – I mean, the same applies to marriage… Look at us… We married in church… However, we don’t really believe in God.


Her – Do you remember our honeymoon to Paris ? You took me to the Picasso Museum…

Him (nostalgically) – Of course, I remember…

Her – We were so excited… It’s only half round that we realised that it was the Carnavalet Museum…

Him – Yes… They’re both in the same area…

Her (smiling) – I did wonder why the preliminaries were taking so long…

Him – The preliminaries…?

Her – I mean, Picasso… His first period…

Him – Oh, yes, of course…

Silence. They start to leave.

Her – Did you heard of that artist who paints under the sea ? (He is not sure he understands). He puts on a wet suit, goes into the sea and paints corals.

Him – I must say I never heard of him. Any good ?

Her – Well, pretty good, actually…