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Looking back, his worries started long before the eve. As he entered the Faculty of Arts, the depth of his troubles deepened. As the closed ears opened and there was a lot of contact, question marks continued to follow.
‘Am I drawing it right? Why did I try to paint it to suit other people’s tastes? What do I want in the picture?’
Raphael fell into disbelief and reached the present state. In the meantime, he met Elena again who questioned him.
“I’m ashamed, but can I ask you a favor?”
Raphael made eye contact with Elena, who was slowly looking at him.
The deep eyes beyond the lenses made him feel comfortable for some reason.
“Can you look at my paintings… even though they are incomplete?”
A request that is so courteous that he felt desperate. Elena’s small lips opened as she was watching Raphael without a word.
“As much as I can be of help.”
The Trilateral Union is a country located in the northern part of the continent. the Kingdom of Dian, the Kingdom of Croven, and the Kingdom of Belkan. The three countries opened up their supplies and unified their currency to counter the empires and kingdoms of the continent. The three countries, each with specialties of iron, wood, and wheat, worked closely together to improve national power, as well as establish institutional mechanisms and encourage merchants to actively engage in business activities to supply necessary items in the lean northern region.
As a result, the three-way alliance, which has been around for more than a hundred years despite being a small country, has been recognized as one of the solid powerhouses of the continent. Thanks to the encouragement policy of the Three Nations, Castol Corporation was able to become one of the top ten in the continents based in the capital of the Kingdom of Velkan.
“How is it? It’s not the disease, is it?”
The doctor carefully examined Lucia, suffering from high fever, laying in the bed. Her lively appearance of entering the academy was nowhere to be seen, and her pale face was pitiful.
“…… I’m afraid the Northern Fever is right.”
Emilio sank into a chair by the doctor’s diagnosis. He looked half gone and held Lucia’s fever-stricken hand tightly.
“There is no incurable disease in the world. I’ll fix it somehow.”
Since that day, Emilio had been eager to bring in doctors with all his money, connections, and influence from the Castol Corporation to find a cure. By the end of the month, Emilio was disappointed. He realized that there is something that a country cannot do with the money he believed it could buy. But he didn’t give up. He already let his wife go first, but he didn’t have the confidence to live after he sent his daughter away.It was natural for him to be negligent in his top work because his mind was focused on Lucia. The office had piled up a lot of work documents that needed to be handled by the authority of the top. The top job was also paralyzed. Then a letter classified as urgent arrived in front of him.
It was a stroke of luck to read the letter, which would normally have been ignored. After reading the letter, Emilio stood up and shouted.
“Get the laminergia flowers right now! I’ll give you whatever you want, be quick!”
Elena, disguised as Lucia, regularly visited Raphael’s studio. There, they hung the unfinished pictures and had time to review them.
“It’s my early work, ‘The Broken Faith.’”
The “broken faith” boasted a high degree of perfection to the point where the word incomplete was overshadowed. A cathedral painted and a farmer sitting in a marsupial field metaphorically expressed the farmer’s despair.
“What do you think?”
Raphael carefully asked what Elena thought about his work.
“Here you are.”
Elena pointed to the ragged cathedral in the painting.
“The perspective stands out.”
He was talking calmly, but Raphael couldn’t help but be surprised.
Elena pointed out exactly what Raphael wanted to express with the most elaborate effort.
‘It’s the air perspective, maybe?’
As Raphael’s paintings were considered one of the most representative works of the time, many artists analyzed and defined his techniques. Air perspective was the name given.
“It’s because you overlook the action of the air.”
“Action of the air?”
“As the object moves away, the hue adds blue and decreases
saturation. It should be based on the fading of the outline of the
object, but you missed it.”
Elena’s level of theory was high, although she lacked the ability to paint. This is because when the Renaissance era opened, women needed the insight and knowledge to see paintings, which became a must-have skill.
Whether Elena liked it or not, Raphael remained silent. Elena was also bothered by the longer time.
‘Did I sound too abstract?’
Unfortunately, this was the best help for Elena. Although she was shrewd in theory, she was not good enough to explain by listing examples herself.
“I’m sorry, but could you give me time to be alone?”
Raphael sat in front of the easel and agonized over what he felt.
Elena, standing still for a while, quietly walked out of the studio to avoid interference.
“I must be mistaken to feel kicked out, right?”
Five days later. Elena, who thought she had given Raphael enough time to ponder, returned to the studio. Raphael jumped out from the inside to open the wooden door. The movement was so fast that Elena was surprised.
“Surprised. Did you wait for me?”
“I have lost my voice.”
Raphael nodded and showed her a painting on the easel.
“I’ve been working with Ms. Lucia’s advice. Is it better?”
Elena was surprised when she saw the painting. There was a cabin painted in the dark forest, and the perspective of the front forest and the back cabin was so well expressed.
‘It is called ‘Black House.’ I tried to express the air perspective as much as I could. Is it feeling better?’
“…… It’s not at a better level.”
“As expected. You pointed out that you missed the outline. I should have paid more attention to coloring.”
Raphael reflected on himself, not to mention disappointment, when he recalled his inadequacy.
“No, I mean. It’s not a decent level, it’s a level that perfectly deals with perspective.”
Elena almost protested. She couldn’t help but acknowledge his genius.
‘It’s a technique originally designed by Raphael, but I didn’t expect him to learn it in just a few days.’
The genius of the Renaissance master was beyond Elena’s imagination. Raphael began to complete his stagnant techniques, starting with the air perspective.
“Here, if you use light and shadow to save the contrast, you can have a more three-dimensional effect.”
Elena pointed out the lack of parts as much as she could. Based on the art theory that will be defined in the future, the supplementation law was introduced. Each time, Raphael was in deep agony, Elena quietly left the studio to avoid interference.
And a few days later, she visited again.
“I tried to express the three-dimensional effect in various ways, as you advised me before, is it okay?”
There was just admiration for his genius. In just a few days, the expression of contrast was perfectly established. Raphael’s genuinity did not end, as the evaluation that he opened a new horizon in the art world at the age of 21.
However, despite the rapid development of technical perfection, there was something missing in Raphael’s paintings that could not be described. It was definitely a well-drawn painting that was flawless.
He also tried to express what he felt, such as the hard work of a farmer, the psychology of a woman in despair, and the loneliness of nature.
‘I can’t feel the soul.’
There is a shell but no kernel. There was a writer’s intention, but the depth of expression was shallow. The remark, which critics had been talking about, really struck Elena. Is it because he’s still in his late teens? She felt that he still lacked inner depth to reflect in consideration of religion, morality, emotions, nature’s greatness, and cultural perspectives.
“Don’t you still feel the authenticity of the painting?”
“Yes, I’m sorry.”
When Elena answered honestly, Raphael also nodded as if he was accepting.
“I’m ashamed of myself. You’re splitting up the time and teaching me, but I don’t think I’m meeting your expectations.”
Raphael was calm despite not being able to contain the soul of an important picture. No, he was just pretending to look like that. Elena could see how frustrated he was.
“Don’t blame yourself. Growing up is always accompanied by pain.”
Elena consoled Raphael who stared at her.
“I feel embarrassed every time. You’re definitely younger than me, but you feel like a mature adult.”
“Does that mean I look old, sir?”
Elena responded playfully like a freshman entering an academic institution. For Elena, Raphael was the only person who had no ill feelings in her previous life. Raphael was also a friendly person. In her previous life, she felt comfortable talking to him, but she still felt the same way. While talking with him, she was able to relax for a while.
“It’s the first time I’ve been so awkward that I’m a senior. So I guess I can’t talk.”
“Your excuse is too grand. You’re doing this on purpose to make me uncomfortable, aren’t you?
It was time for them to exchange jokes and put down his agony.
Tak tak tak.
There was a loud noise of shoes in the hallway beyond the door. The small sound, which was not heard well at first, grew louder and louder, and soon it stopped.
“Raphael, are you in there?”
Surprised by the faint girl’s voice outside the studio, Elena looked at Raphael as if she was asking who she was.
“She’s my friend. She came without further notice. Uh. Come in.”
When Raphael raised his voice, a girl with long straight hair squeezed into the crack of the door.
“I told you to do some cleaning up… Oh? You have a guest?”
Raphael’s friend was his senior. It was time for Elena to get up from her chair because she felt like she had to say hello with good manners.