My father recently passed away after a long illness. My brothers decided I could take this part of my inheritance home already because only I could tell the story of the painting.
The detail above is from a small dark Victorian era oil painting that I found in my grandfather’s shed when I was fifteen. Dad and I were clearing out the shed after grandpa had died.
“Look at this dad,” I said excitedly when I pulled the painting out of a dusty old box.
“That’s Aunt Amelia,” Dad said.
We hurried inside to show mum the painting because she was the family ‘art expert’. Mum was into Expressionism and was totally unimpressed with the dark Victorian style. Amelia went back into hiding and I didn’t see her again until the mid 1990s when a distant cousin of dad’s came to visit. She was a genealogist and interested in the painting. Amelia, she explained, was a sister of my great grandfather. For a while dad hung the painting on the wall. He put a cheap frame around it which will have to be carefully removed. He has done it in such a way that the canvas could easily tear. The painting itself is unsigned and has some damage. One day I will get it reframed and restored. For now Amelia is propped up on the bookcase and looks out at me benignly whenever I catch her eye. She lifts my spirits and I’m so glad she’d come to live with me.
Here’s a bad photo that shows the whole painting. (I’m not very good at photographing paintings) The top is a scan but I didn’t want to scan it too often as I was worried the bright light might damage the paint.