The Terror of the Obvious

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Watson_09-1991

There is a painting on my wall that fascinates me. That is partly because it is beautiful, partly because of the story it tells. It is a large Dutch oil of 1658 by Hendrik van Vliet, better known for his church interiors, and it shows two men solemnly seated at a dark table lit only by a candle—the one speaking from a book under his left hand, the other about to reply.

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