The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul.
– Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chapter 1. Most artists cannot wait to show off their work to the public, but not so Basil Hallward with his portrait of Dorian. He believes that his picture of Dorian is more than just a work of art. He feels that in it he has revealed much of his own soul, so for that reason he is not willing to exhibit it in front of strangers. Obsessed and infatuated with the young Dorian, he admits to putting into the picture "some expression of all this curious artistic idolatry." But Basil wishes to keep his feelings hidden from the world’s prying eyes. "My heart shall never be put under their microscope," he says. Basil is widely regarded as a metaphor for Wilde the artist, who also once said: "it is not wise to show one’s heart to the world."