“THE SAME LICENSE AS POETS AND MADMEN.” Veronese in defending himself before the Inquisition in effect denied that ideas lay behind parts of his painting. He is simply filling up spaces in his picture: “when I have some space left over in a picture I adorn it with figures of my own invention.” A man with a nosebleed was just a man with a nosebleed. At one point when he seems hard-pressed he begins his response: “We painters use the same license as poets and madmen.” And in response to another question he says that painters do things for ornamental reasons:
“Q. And the one who is dressed as a jester with a parrot on his wrist, why did you put him into the picture?
A. He is there as an ornament, as it is usual to insert such figures.”

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