Look who’s come to live with me.

detail of 'Amelia"

detail of 'Amelia'

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.


8 responses

  1. Amelia is amazing and I am sure that she is delighted to be with you. I have this feeling that she will be your muse, watch over you, remind you of family,and be a catalyst for change of some sort. She is in a place where she is cherished and not forgotten.

    So sorry to hear about your father.

  2. Wow! This is quite amazing. What a wonderful thing to inherit Suzanne. She is stunning! Take care during this time as you face issues that rise up with your father’s passing.

  3. What a lovely sharing- a great story of memory, object, and present experience, and to claim her through story- excellent!

  4. Oh how marevellous this is! I think both the subject and the painting are lovely. She is so well executed, a gentle hand surely painted her.


  5. How interesting Suzanne, that it is one of your ancestors. She didn’t look very old when it was painted. I wonder what restoration will reveal?

  6. my condolences on the loss of your dad but what a beautiful painting you have inherited. She has such a sense of serenity about her. It will be fascinating to find out more about her

  7. Amelia is beautiful and she will be with you during you time of grief and healing.


  8. Yes indeed Amelia is very beautiful. Her deep inner calm and serenity will encourage and help to hold you up during this very rough time.
    Thinking of you.

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