I re-read 'The Model' by W H Auden earlier today, and I was struck by how good it is. I've venerated Auden since I was sixteen, but I hadn't appreciated this poem properly until now.
I find myself fascinated by the question of whether Auden had a specific painting in mind while writing this poem. My mind jumps to Browning's 'My Last Duchess' and, indeed, Auden's own 'Musée des Beaux Arts' - although, in the latter case, the reference to a specific painting is explicit - in short order.
Does any authoritative source link this poem with a specific painting? Does any authoritative source state that Auden had no specific painting in mind?