"Unfinished Portrait of Leonard Bonaparte"

Jack Louie David 

Younger brother of the more famous painter David, and always relegated to the sidelines, Jack yearned to leave behind some lasting marker of his own talent. By great good fortune he happened to meet Leonard Bonaparte, illegitimate son of one or another of the Napoleons in a bar late one night, and offered to paint the young man's portrait as a way of insinuating himself into the family, so to speak.


The work began the next morning and was progressing well when the great French Earthquake of 1798 struck, right on schedule. The portrait was ruined, and Leonard Bonaparte was struck in the head by part of the falling studio ceiling and spent the rest of his life collecting disability from either the Empire or the Republic, depending on which of his relatives was or was not in power.


To avoid a lawsuit Jack David emigrated to Switzerland, changed his name to David Jacques L'Ouis and became fairly successful as a male prostitute in the cantons near Lake Geneva.

 

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