Q. In this Supper which you painted for San Giovanni e Paolo, what signifies the figure of him whose nose is bleeding?
A. He is a servant who has a nose-bleed from some accident.
Q. What signify those armed men dressed in the fashion of Germany, with halberds in their hands?
A. It is necessary here that I should say a score of words.
Q. Say them.
A. We painters use the same license as poets and madmen, and I represented those halberdiers, the one drinking, the other eating at the foot of the stairs, but both ready to do their duty, because it seemed to me suitable and possible that the master of the house, who as I have been told was rich and magnificent, would have such servants.
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.