"I can't understand how they can fall into such a gross mistake.
Christ always has His definite embodiment in the art of the great
masters. And therefore, if they want to depict, not God, but a
revolutionist or a sage, let them take from history a Socrates, a
Franklin, a Charlotte Corday, but not Christ. They take the very
figure which cannot be taken for their art, and then..."
"And is it true that this Mihailov is in such poverty?" asked
Vronsky, thinking that, as a Russian Maecenas, it was his duty to
assist the artist regardless of whether the picture were good or
"I should say not. He's a remarkable portrait-painter. Have you
ever seen his portrait of Madame Vassiltchikova? But I believe he
doesn't care about painting any more portraits, and so very
likely he is in want. I maintain that..."
"Couldn't we ask him to paint a portrait of Anna Arkadyevna?"
"Why mine?" said Anna. "After yours I don't want another
portrait. Better have one of Annie" (so she called her baby
girl). "Here she is," she added, looking out of the window at
the handsome Italian nurse, who was carrying the child out into
the garden, and immediately glancing unnoticed at Vronsky. The
handsome nurse, from whom Vronsky was painting a head for his
picture, was the one hidden grief in Anna's life. He painted
with her as his model, admired her beauty and medievalism, and
Anna dared not confess to herself that she was afraid of becoming
jealous of this nurse, and was for that reason particularly
gracious and condescending both to her and her little son.
Vronsky, too, glanced out of the window and into Anna's eyes,
and, turning at once to Golenishtchev, he said:
"Do you know this Mihailov?"