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-2- Women have always been inspirers--there's Isabella d'Este--Isabella of Aragon--Isabella Gardner. But in common with all Americans we need two things badly, independence and truth. Independence of mind--that proudest of aristocracies, as Anatole France calls it. To be unimpressed by success, misery, or money. To have infinate patience in working out details, disregarding time. To aim at nothing less than perfection, no matter if it bring despair. To demand and obtain solitude---- No compromise, no concession to inferior aims or tastes. Not because the artist feels himself superior, but because Art is greater than the individual: it is a consecration. The public should never be cheated into obtaining what it thinks it wants! And then, truth! neither a Pollyanna optimism, nor a defeatest pessimism, but the truth--with eyes peeled to see beauty even in incongruous places; and a cheerful disregard for fads, vogues, and deformations of all kinds. People ask me how long it took to make portraits like those I've doe of Duse, Ethel Barrymore, Pavlowa. I answer: Seven days of work--and twenty-five years of study. And when I got back from the mud and blood around Verdun, from scenes of inconceivable heroism and horror, I dared to make War memorials with Victory as a worn and tragic figure, not a complacent woman waving a wreath. The men,who had been there, felt it was the real thing. They are erecting these four memorials now years after I had conceived them. I
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