Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field/Artist or Photographer


Mr. Clemens had met Lenbach, the eminent German painter, in Vienna, and when, a year or two afterwards, I ran across Mark in Munich, he proposed that we call at Lenbach's studio. So to Akademie Strasse we went, and duly admired Lenbach's collections. "Mostly painted kaisers, kings, and kinglets, also one man, W. K. Vanderbilt," was Mark's estimate. I saw Lenbach eye Clemens with business in his heart. Mark saw it too. "Wonder if he intends to throw me on the linen, I mean the canvas," he whispered, while Lenbach was busy in another part of the shop.

"It would increase his popularity immensely," I sotto voce'ed back.

Lenbach returned—with a camera, and as Mark looked puzzled, Lenbach explained: "I always get every possible angle I can of the persons I want to paint. Now, if you will just stand still, Mr. Clemens, for a little while, I will be ever so much obliged."

And Lenbach made the rounds of Clemens, who had taken off his overcoat, more than once, photographing every important bit of anatomy, back, sides, front, arms, legs, ear, full face, back of head, cheeks, hands, eyes, etc.

"They told me in Vienna that Lenbach was an artist," commented Mark when we gained the sidewalk. "As you saw, he is merely a photographer. Glad I never went to pieces over his art with a capital A."

Whether the painting was ever undertaken by Lenbach I don't know, but it would be immensely interesting to get those plates from the "photographer's" studio.