Lives of the Artists XXVII

Further than others in the vegetarian department advanced the artist Ilya Repin. His staple diet was … hay. Hay! The painter argued that a broth of grass was the best way to keep healthy. Ivan Bunin once had to sneak away from Repin’s hospitality: “Repin meets me dressed in boots, fur coat, fur hat, with kisses, hugs, leads me to his studio, where it’s as frosty as in the front-yard, and says, ‘Here I’ll paint you in the morning, and then we’ll have breakfast as the Lord God commanded: grass, my dear fellow, grass! You’ll see how it cleans the body and soul, and you’ll soon abandon even the damned tobacco.’ I began to bow low, warmly thanking him, and muttered that I’d come back tomorrow, but now must immediately rush to the railway station – terribly urgent business in St. Petersburg. And once again embraced the master and ran with all speed to the station, and rushed to pantry, ordered vodka, and eagerly lit up…”

(Via Bolshoi Gorod.)

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