One day, a beautiful young English woman arrived at Murphy’s house in a stretch limousine and asked if he would paint her in the nude.
Now Murphy, who lived in a small town in County Clare in Ireland, while not being a brilliant scholar, was a hugely gifted portrait artist. Over a short number of years, his fame had grown and soon people from all over Ireland were coming to get him to paint their likenesses.
However, the arrival of this lovely English woman wanting him to paint her in the nude rather threw him off balance.
This had been the first time anyone had made such a request and he was a bit perturbed, particularly when the woman told him that money was no object. She told him in fact that she was willing to pay up to €15,000 to have herself painted in the nude.
Now not wanting to get into any marital strife, Murphy asked her to wait for a few minutes while he went into the house to confer with Mary, his wife.
In a few minutes Murphy returned.
“It would be me pleasure to paint yer portrait, missus”, he said. “The wife says it’s okay”.
“I’ll paint ya in da nude alright”, Murphy added, “but I have to at least leave me socks on, so I have a place to wipe me brushes”.
Image used under a Collective Commons License from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Female_Nude_Reading_by_Robert_Delaunay,_San_Diego_Museum_of_Art.JPG