Is it insanity to fall in love with a figure in a painting? Sloshes and scrapes of colour, chemical pronouncements. Or if older, crushed berries or crushed insects. There’s more of the artist in there than the woman being depicted. What is it I’m responding to? Shapes. A conglomeration of shapes. But if we can fall in love at all we can fall in love with symbols can’t we? I once went on about Delacroix’s orphan girl and my wife, with a familiar roll of the eyes, apologising to our guests, ended up draining her chardonnay and saying, For fuck’s sake, Thomas, you’re old enough to be her grandfather.