"What sort of painting can a young fellow do at your age? Generally something mediocre as far as ideas go…. Do sketches, train yourself in composition: whatever ideas you’ve got, put them on to paper in a single day at one stroke, and even though it’s on a small scale, you can put into it anything you like in the way of harmony, elegance, costumes, poetry and so forth: those are the sort of paintings you should be doing at seventeen…. Above all, see to it that all your efforts and studies converge and help you to qualify for the [Prix de Rome] competition. That’s your goal and, if you want to reach it, don’t waste a day on feeble and useless studies."