Saturday, 1 August 2009

Out of Sight is Out of Mind - Treasure Re-discovered

I have a constant struggle keeping my studio organised, as my ability to accumulate textiles far outweighs my willingness to part with them... I also work from home, and I live in quite a small flat, so often have to find ingenious ways to 'stash' items that I don't want to either sell or display straight away. I was trying to turn chaos into order - which usually ends having completely the opposite affect - when I re-discovered this enormous old painted antique French canvas rolled up and hidden away behind a screen in my studio. I bought it from a French dealer a few years ago at a car boot sale on the spur of the moment. I was only just beginning to find and appreciate antique French textiles and treasures, and couldn't resist it, a snip at £15.00 or $25.00. It was too large to get on the bus home, so I had to call on my brother in law to give me a lift, and it only just fitted in his car! Once I got it home, I had an "Oh god, what have I bought now" kind of moment, and tucked it away, as 'out of sight is out of mind'. It has remained out of sight ever since.

I am not sure how old it is, maybe 1920s or so, and heavily painted in golds, bronzes, browns etc, a landscape scene in a roccoco style, I think, a really inspirational piece, despite the fact that it is substantially damaged, the green under-painting used to enhance the top coat of gold is showing through across the whole panel, but I don't mind, it is full of character, so it now has pride of place on my studio wall - and will be able to appreciate its inspiring beauty on a daily basis - it offsets all the piles of textiles beautifully, somehow the studio doesn't look quite so disorganised with this on the wall.

I was told it was a chateau painting, to decorate a large wall, as apparently was common to do, with simple un-framed canvases, but a friend of mine felt it could be the backdrop to a stage set, but the static figures of the man and woman make me doubt it. what ever it was intended for, I am really pleased it made its way to me!


  1. Amazing what you find! It seems this would give a space a very elegant, old-world feel. I love the patina as well as the beautiful colors.

    I have had this experience too of tucking things away only to re-discover them later and be delighted by the surprise. What a nice thing to be able to display, and I am sure it is adding much to your days. It has such a rich and deep feel to it.

    I hope you are finding time, too, to adjust to your daughter going off to university soon. With time, it will be okay, and then when she returns home you will have so much to explore together with your lives.

  2. Its quite an over-powering piece, but the colours are still quite restful! I think it is probably a piece with a 'winter' feel, if you know what I mean, but it is great to help me focus on work!

    I am getting used to the prospect of M's imminent departure, I am feeling a bit better about it, as you say, when we see each other will become more concentrated, quality time! Have a wonderful day, and best wishes! xxx