Rouault called him Le petit Nain.
Not merely a dwarf, but a little one at that.
And yet, even so, he seems cramped by life. Painted into a corner, as it were.
I find myself now and then in sympathy with the poor fellow.
He’s one among perhaps two dozen circus players that Rouault painted in similar style as a collection called The Circus of the Shooting Star.
I have them in a Mondadori book of the same name in Italian — Il Circo Della Stella Filante — a copy of which I once gave to Rickie Lee Jones on her birthday, recalling her sad daring Deep Space equestrienne in the show of same name:
(AN EQUESTRIENNE IN THE CIRCUS OF THE FALLING STAR)
no one else can see
trapeze the height of thee
vanish as they call
no one else can hear
No one else can sing
this one for you
can they, dear?
Things that you do are always with me
when youâ€™re laughing youâ€™re always here
Whatâ€™s the use in crying?
It wonâ€™t matter when weâ€™re old.
will finally fall
Keep your eyes here
when thereâ€™s no net at all
Where the Lordâ€™s face
is an all-night cafe
Thereâ€™s a woman who will wait on
what you have to say
And your dreams are like marbles
in the pocket of a little boy
And they whisper when you hold them
like a beautiful girl