H.M.Q.: Portraits are supposed to be frightfully self-revealing, aren't they? Show what one's really like — the secret self. Either that or else the eyes are supposed to follow you round the room. Have you had your portrait painted?

Sir Anthony Blunt: No, Ma'am.

H.M.Q.: So we don't know whether you have a secret self?


H.M.Q.: If one comes across a painting with the right background and pedigree, Sir Anthony, it must be hard, I imagine, even inconceivable, to think that it is not what it claims to be. And even supposing someone in such circumstances did have suspicions, they would be chary about voicing them. Easier to leave things as they are. Stick with the official attribution, rather than let the cat out of the bag and say «Here we have a fake».

Sir Anthony Blunt: I still think the word «fake» inappropriate, Ma'am.

H.M.Q.: If something is not what it claims to be, what is it?

Sir Anthony Blunt: An enigma?

(from «A Question of Attribution» by Alan Bennett)

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