Here are a handful of tales to be scattered like seed, some of which may germinate hopefully, leading some readers to seek out the works of art around that these five tales, without exception, revolve. Perhaps there will be contemplation of the pictures of old masters like Pontormo, Poussin, and Velázquez with their hidden depths and sly allusions. Perhaps Tartini?s music will be listened to, full of its Italian baroque vitality and virtuosity. It may even be that Alfons Mucha?s decorative style of art comes to be viewed on par with the posters of Toulouse-Lautrec. A 19th-century Frenchman once wrote that we can live without bread, but never without poetry. The poetry that is just below the surface in these stories lies in the lives and artistic endeavours of Pontormo, Mucha, Tartini, Velázquez, and Poussin.