“Peter,” said I to my son, “remember this picture?” He glanced up from something he was coloring and nodded. “Do you remember what is on the chair?”
The picture by Van Gogh is called The Chair and the Pipe because it shows a chair with a pipe on the seat. Peter, though, never seems able to disassociate the artist from the picture and whenever he sees a Van Gogh (any Van Gogh), thinks only of the details he has learned about his short, tragic life. So what does Peter automatically reply in response to my question?