Pierre Grassou is a very short story from Balzac’s La Comedie Humaine.
Grassou, despite tuition from expert artists and a willingness to take advice, is an artist of little merit. He is exploited by a dealer who encourages him to copy the style of the masters and sells these pictures at a profit. Very little of this comes to Grassou, but by living frugally and saving prudently, he avoids penury and is even able to make a good match.
This story provides Balzac with an opportunity to snipe at the way artistic standards have slipped at the Salon since the Revolution.
This very short summary is by Lisa Hill, who read Pierre Grassou in March 2010.