3748. The piece of sculpture purchased for Harriet on her birthday was the occasion for a party and to complete the guest list it was thought fitting that some artists they knew should be invited in the hopes that the conversation might turn on questions of art and culture. Harriet’s husband knew one painter and one sculptor and invited them both. Before I tell you about the dinner party I have to say something about the sculptor.
3749. The sculptors name was Ivan Ivanovitch. Since his patronymic was Ivanovitch we know that his father was also named Ivan. His grandfather was also an Ivan. The name Ivan is so common in Russia that it is a substitute for everyman, just as John Doe represents everyman in English.
3750. Ivan’s father was a sculptor and so was he grandfather. Both of those men were still alive when he attended Harriet’s dinner party as a representative of the creative and artistic intelligentsia of the time, but for all his inherited background and qualifications he was not particularly suited to the task.