The painter had learned a great deal about the unstable relationship of things. Life to death. One life to two lives. Fresh to rotting. Human to monster. He had seen it all. He had enough. He was an old man, and he was ready to die. He told her that.
"I wanted to be famous, but I've become a sell out." He told her. She had been posing as his wife for years now, since they came to this city. "My art isn't even my art anymore."
She was not a painter, let alone the artsy type. While she had been trained to deal with feelings, she did not completely understand. He was a famous artist. That was what he had asked of her. "So, this is it?"
"No." He answered quickly. "I want to do one more painting." He wanted to transform a blank canvas into something beautiful one last time. And this time it would be something he wanted, not some rich man's vanity project. "I want to paint you, as you really are."
Slowly, her form shifted. Blonde became grey. Open space became horns. The simple clothes she wore from day to day became and intricate gown. Human to something else. "What do you have in mind? Nothing to risque, I hope."
"Not at all." He leaned in, "Now, if you could just recline on the chair and look out the window...."
And she did. The city of Florence was beautiful. The Renaissance had made it a wonderful playground for her. There was the hustle and bustle of trade (and a few merchants where rarely missed), the artistic types, the politics and the day to day people. Surely this would be a time history remembered, no matter how Florence changed.
While looking out the window, she spotted a blonde woman from many years ago. It was while the ink on the contract was still fresh. The painter had asked her to find him a subject that was dangerous, yet entrancing. (Had he wanted to paint her all this time?) Griseldis had brought him back a succubus she found prowling.
"No one's ever painted me before." The ram horned woman smiled, placing her hands over her swollen abdomen. The painter decided that she was a perfect subject for the encompassing nature of motherhood. "I have a lot of kids." The woman explained, cradling her stomach as directed. "I worry a lot, that I won't be a good mother to them all. I wish I could just stop and focus on what I have now, but I can't. They won't let me."
"Did you have a good relationship with your mother?" Griseldis asked. The painter would get used to her speaking with his subjects, but for now her voice startled him.
"I do." She answered, a smile coming back to her face at the memories of her happy childhood.
"Hold that. Please, hold that expression." He begged. She did. The painting became popular very quickly, as did the artist.
She wanted to ask if he remembered, but she was sure he did. Eventually, she fell asleep, and when she woke, stars illuminated the sky. "I'm just finishing now." He told her. "I think this is my best yet."
"What do you want me to do with it?" She asked. What was to become of his last, and perhaps finest, work?
He shrugged. "Let it dry, keep it yourself. Give it to an admirer. I'll be dead. What do I care?" He looked up at her, and there seemed to be something behind his eyes. She couldn't place it. "I'm done. I'm ready to die Griseldis."
She let his last sight be his last work. It was indeed his finest.