In the current issue of Arts and Antiques magazine, D. Frederick Baker relates the following curious anecdote about William Merritt Chase.
"In 1904, when he held his summer classes in London, he happened upon a fishmonger from whom he rented a cod fish, which he memorialized on canvas. Two hours later he returned the cod, still fresh enough to be sold.
"An apocryphal story? Perhaps, but likely a great sales pitch to the Corcoran Gallery of Art who purchased the painting the following year."
Mr. Baker's full article at Arts and Antiques