Here is an attempt to make a portrait, or rather a collective portrait, like one of those pictured corporations by an old Flemish master. Here is a portrait of the French village of Janac in Upper Languedoc, taken from the door of the Hotel Sestrol. You will perceive in the centre the figures of Monsieur and Madame Sestrol and their son Raymond; grouped about them are the baker, the blacksmith, the shoemaker, the epicier-cobbler, the ex-American soldier, the mad priest, the garde champetre, the juge de paix, etc., fading into a mass of villagers and peasantry, some suggested, others merely indicated. The picture, admittedly, suffers from the disadvantages of the portrait – it is seen from one angle only and in one lighting.
Our friend Boanerges, well-known art critic and gastronomer of Paris, has the queer hobby of collecting himself in facsimile from the hands of all his painter friends. These portraits he hangs regimented in his study, a dozen presentments overlook the original at his work: a dozen Boanerges frown; smile; look indifferent, self-satisfied, absorbed or reflective upon the Boanerges who is grumbling over his manuscript. Of these many portraits all resemble the original, yet none are like each other: they are as the many facets of a jewel, each has its own peculiar glint, none have the same glint, yet all are of the same jewel.