Here you go Amber. If you'd rather have it as an attachment in a word file just let me know. THE MADONNAS OF LENINGRAD it.? Her sweeping gesture would direct their eyes down the grand staircase and back up again to the soaring ceilings. ?Comrades, all this is yours.? This is the official welcome, lines scripted by some Party functionary, but for her it is not empty propaganda. She herself is still amazed: they are her paintings. She is like a lover who still sees her beloved in the trembling golden light of their first meeting. Her uncle brought her here for the first time shortly after she came to live with them. It was the day his wife went to the hospital to deliver their first child. Rather than following the old ways?leaving his niece with the women while he went off with the men and got drunk?he decided instead to bring her with him to the museum, saying that they could both pass the time better in educational pursuits. She was bitterly disappointed by this change in plans, having looked forward to seeing for herself what she had heard about only in whispers. Nothing her uncle proposed could be expected to be nearly so interesting; that much she had learned already. Even now, she can still recall her shock, how shallow and fast her breath came, as she first walked through these gilt rooms, how each new hall opened dreamlike onto still another room. The walls were crowded with the faces of stern old men and the nude figures of young women, their bodies a hot shock of flesh. Her uncle seemed not to notice what she saw?he droned on about acquisitions and restorations and who knows what else, while around them angels fluttered in turbulent skies and serene Madonnas gazed down as they passed. And the landscapes, one after another, shimmering with light, each 27 To unsubscribe from this list send a blank Email to bksvol-discuss-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx put the word 'unsubscribe' by itself in the subject line. To get a list of available commands, put the word 'help' by itself in the subject line.