We met in the Alte Nationalgallerie, in Faust’s metropolis, admiring old masters, he, well into eighteenth century German painting, and I, as ever the historian, researching the pre-1870 period, before the Iron Kingdom turned into the centre of the new Reich.
A passing comment, near Toteninsel of Arnold Böcklin, started up our conversation.
“I can’t locate your accent,” he said smiling, and I recognised, just in time, the smile of Gerard Philippe in La Beauté du Diable…
“I was born here” I replied, “but have travelled a bit since then.”
“I like that,” continued the Devil, “Art and travel make for a healthy mind, don’t you think?”