The Frugal Repast

The Frugal Repast $10.99

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Ron Hirsen

Published by Samuel French Inc

4 Male 4 Female

It's 1913 in Paris, where renowned art dealer Ambroise Vollard has just published The Frugal Repast an edition of etchings by Pablo Picasso, the rising young star of the Paris art world

The art dealer entertains his dinner guests Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, and Guillaume Apollinaire, along with Picasso, and they engage in lively and urbane repartee

The two impoverished circus performers depicted in The Frugal Repast see the etching on display in the window of Vollard's gallery and determine to steal it for ransom

If the artist can make money from stealing their faces, they say, then they can make money by stealing his print

The circus acrobats cleverly use their aerial skills to perform a stunning theft of the print, leaving in its place a ransom note asking for a thousand francs

Vollard, merely amused by the theft, replaces the stolen print with another one from the same edition

The ransom note, the duplicate prints, a mysterious invitation, and a delicious chicken curry all provoke both laughter and thought as the haves and have-nots wrestle over the value of art and of life itself


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