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Chapter 72 Part 2 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

“Now that you mention it, I understand. Chopin was born to a French father and a Polish mother. He spent half his life in France and the other half in Poland.”

Jiyeon points to a painting of a skeleton on the French flag and a heart on the Polish flag and says, “Even in death, his body was in France, but his heart in Poland.”

Jeonghoon’s mouth forms an ‘O’.

“You know quite a bit about Chopin, don’t you?”

Jiyeon, not mentioning it was thanks to a college boyfriend, then asked in front of the third painting, “But I still don’t understand this painting. This piano amidst the whirlwind.”

Jeonghoon, standing in front of the third painting with his arms crossed, says, “Why don’t you tell me what you feel from this painting?”

Jiyeon looks intently at the painting, then hesitantly says, “It’s…”

“Just speak frankly.”

“It feels a bit like a cartoon.”


“You know, like in Dragon Ball, when Goku is concentrating with energy swirling behind him as he's about to unleash a Kamehameha?”


“It’s kind of like that? It seems to express the perspective of someone with mental issues, seeing only the piano.”

Jeonghoon smiles slightly.

“You saw it correctly.”

Jiyeon blinks, feeling somewhat embarrassed for speaking honestly when asked. She didn't expect her comparison of a fine art piece to a cartoon would be well-received, but Jeonghoon calmly continues without any particular expression.

“In Chopin’s time, musicians had to compose symphonies or operas to earn money.”

“Really? Like Beethoven and other musicians who composed symphonies?”

Jeonghoon, with his arms crossed, looks at Jiyeon and smiles. A puzzled Jiyeon asks, “Why?”

“Think about it.”

“About what?”

“Our conversation just now. Why did we have it?”


Our conversation? Oh, why would he think I said that? Lost in thought, Jiyeon suddenly claps her hands.

“Ah! Chopin didn’t compose symphonies or operas!”

Jeonghoon snaps his fingers.

“Right, Chopin wrote piano pieces throughout his life. Though he loved opera, he left about 200 pieces, 170 of which are piano compositions. He chose and focused on the piano.”

Jiyeon nods, understanding the painting better. Then she turns her gaze to a fourth painting yet unseen.

“A piano in a small concert hall. The faces of about thirty audience members are there, but the piano itself is empty. Is this also related to Chopin?”

“Chopin, recognized as a talented pianist, rarely performed in halls with more than a hundred people. He mainly performed in salons with about 30 people.”


“Well, it’s said he had a weak constitution, making it hard to project loudly, and he may have had stage fright. He was afraid of performing in halls full of people watching him.”

“Wow, Chopin, of all people?”

“Indeed, it’s strange.”

Jiyeon looks again at the fourth painting.

Though the piano is empty, the faces of the Westerners in the audience behind the piano are vividly depicted. Unlike the third painting, this one feels more traditional, reminiscent of a recently completed ceiling fresco in a theater.

“Are there more paintings?”

Jeonghoon gestures towards a corner.

“Over there.”

Following his gesture, Jiyeon sees several canvases leaning against the wall. Slipping her fingers between them, she pulls out one after another, and then exclaims in surprise.

"What's this one about? It doesn't seem related to Chopin."

A stormy island.

A lone house with an orange tin roof, and raindrops falling onto the roof.

Behind the house, in the middle of a vast lake, a small shadowy figure floats. The painting has an overall sad and lonely feeling.

Jung Hoon, with his arms crossed, said, "Do you know the 'Raindrop Prelude'?"

"Yes, it's a piece by Chopin."

"Do you know Liszt?"

"Liszt? The 'Devil's Pianist'?"

"Yes, Paganini was the devil of the violin, Liszt was the devil of the piano."

"What about him?"

"Chopin and Liszt were friends."

"Really? They seem so mismatched."

"Yes, Liszt performed on grand stages and earned well, while Chopin gave lessons to nobles and only performed in salons. Chopin envied Liszt's strong heart. But Liszt envied Chopin too, for his emotional and lyrical qualities."

"And then?"

"Chopin met a woman seven years his senior, George Sand, at a salon hosted by Countess Marie d'Agoult, Liszt's lover. They fell passionately in love, and Sand genuinely cared for Chopin. As Chopin's health worsened, her fiery love transformed into maternal affection."

Jiyeon listened with interest as if hearing an old tale, and Jung Hoon continued.

"Sand took the ailing Chopin for recuperation to Majorca Island. One stormy day, Sand went to town and couldn't return home due to the rain. Alone, Chopin worried about Sand and composed this piece. He heard the raindrops hitting the roof rhythmically in A flat, imagined those drops forming a lake, and himself drowning in it. He visualized his own tears falling over his heart and wrote the piece inspired by that image."

"Ah... So that's what this painting represents."

Jung Hoon nodded and sighed.

"I guess I haven't yet managed to convey the meaning clearly enough without explanation."

Jiyeon, feeling guilty for not recognizing the intent behind the diligently painted piece, coughed and tried to divert the conversation. Then, noticing many paintings still facing away, she went through them one by one with her fingers, and exclaimed in surprise.

"Wow! Oppa, how many paintings have you made? Are all these related to Chopin?"

Jung Hoon silently scratched his head, and Jiyeon's eyes widened at the sight of over thirty canvases leaning against the wall.


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