Caroline is reading the Hilary Spurling biography, and I'm glad she sent me this. I'm reading Trollope, which means I don't have anything else to read that has really taken hold of me and got me in pursuit (like the Burke bio for instance) so it's good to be reminded of it. First the quote:
"What has been taken for boldness was no more than the fact that
anything else proved too difficult. Freedom is really the impossibility
of following the same road as everybody else: freedom means taking the
path your talents make you take."
Then Caroline's comment.
He was in Bouguereau's class when he started out in Paris! Of course
he couldn't be a mewling sycophant and just do copies of the drawings
of the master-- he liked working from life.