Thursday, July 3, 2008


Portrait Of A Thief

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 8:30 AM
Comments: 0


Here's an excerpt from a article "VENGEANCE IS NOT OURS" written by Henrylito D. Tacio

Looks familiar, I believe.

Revenge or vengeance consists of retaliation against a person in response to perceived wrongdoing. Although many aspects of revenge resemble or echo the concept of making things equal, revenge usually has a more injurious than constructive goal. The vengeful wish to make the other side go through what they went through or make sure they'll never be able to do what they did again.

Actually, revenge is a deceiver – it looks sweet but is most often bitter. Now, let me share you a true story that happened to Hungarian artist Arpad Sebesy. At one time, Elmer Kelen came to his studio and when he saw the portrait, he was very angry. Before leaving, Elmer told Arpad: "That's a rotten portrait and I refuse to pay for it!"

The artist was crushed. He had spent weeks on this painting, and now the 500 pengos (Hungarian currency) that he was going to lose on the deal flashed through his mind. Bitterly, he recalled that the millionaire had only posed three times so that the painting had to be done virtually from memory. Still, he didn't think it was such a bad likeness.

Before the millionaire left his studio, the artist called out, "One minute. Will you sign this letter saying you refused the portrait because it didn't resemble you?" Glad to get off the hook so easily, Kelen agreed.

A few months later, the Society of Hungarian Artists opened its exhibition at the Gallery of Fine Arts in Budapest. Soon afterwards, Kelen's phone began to ring. Within half an hour, he appeared at the art gallery and headed for the wing where a Sebesy painting was on display. It was the one he had rejected.

He glanced at the title and his face turned purple. Storming into the office of the gallery manager, he demanded that the portrait be removed at once. The manager explained quietly that all of the paintings were under contract to remain in the gallery the full six weeks of the exhibit.

Kelen raged. "But it will make me the laughing stock of Budapest. It's libelous! I'll sue!" The manager turned to his desk, drew out the letter Kelen had written at Sebesy's request, and said, "Just a moment. Since you yourself admit that the painting does not resemble you, you have no jurisdiction over its fate."

In desperation, Kelen offered to buy the painting, only to find the price was now ten times that of the original figure. With this reputation at stake, Kelen immediately wrote out a check for 5,000 pengos.

Not only did the artist sell the rejected portrait to the man who had originally commissioned it, he also received ten times the first price and achieved his revenge by exhibiting it with the title: "Portrait of a Thief."

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  • "MaSci to GSI" is a compendium of experiences from childhood to present. M2G shares my insights and knowledge on education, hard work, integrity, honesty, creativity, transparency, and aspiration of a Filipino. M2G maps my journeys and adventures as a boy, student, dreamer and entrepreneur.
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Location: Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines

Efren, President/CEO of GSI, is an experienced public speaker and an avid tennis player, photographer, a beginner classical guitarist. He was the former Chairman of Philippine Geomatics Association (PhilGeo) and is an active member of other IT associations. He has a diploma in Strategic Business Economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific, units in MS Remote Sensing in UP Diliman, BS Geodetic Engineering at UP Diliman and an alumni of Manila Science High School.






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