Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Portrait Love

While in Victoria, I fell in love with this dashing gentleman (oil on board, not real), who I discovered at my new *favorite* antique shop:
I am not generally a fan of portraits of strangers, but this little painting had my heart aflutter. The worn water-gilded frame also spoke volumes...

I think I like the size and scale of the piece almost as much as the subject himself (who is wearing a dark gray suit, standing against brownish-red panelling with a slate blue pocket square and a dark rose tie!!). What wonderfully-rich colours:
This is an Art Deco-era painting, and I would tell you more about him, but I need to keep it a secret (I'm still trying to decide if I need to buy him). Let's just say, he was from a famous Canadian turn-of-the-century family that fell on very hard times, and died a tragically early death. Isn't that romantic?

Sadly, my art budget is very low, and I seem to find too many things to love these days. The budget has to cut off somewhere. Darn.

He was so handsome in the context of all these wonderful old things. He would not look nearly so dashing in my small home, alone on the wall. I like the completeness of the three paintings hanging from the picture rail in this lovely tall-ceilinged room...
Do you like portraits of strangers?

Maybe I should buy it (but maybe this is a much-needed lesson in restraint)....

I will reveal the details of the shop in a future post, as you really must visit if you're in Victoria.


  1. It is wonderfully intriguing!!
    Love it! I am not a portrait artist, so they fascinate me!

    I have an Artful Offering and great interview on my site.You will love it!

    Art by Karena

  2. I've never really considered portraits until recently when I found a wonderful '20s-'30s era portrait on etsy of a woman whose large eyes haunted me. Now I look at them all the time.

    I love the painting of the gentleman in your post and I would love to have it. I think it's incredibly handsome. I think you're smart to consider how it will look in your house. Uou could certainly create a little vignette that makes him look right at home.

  3. Yes! I adore portraits of strangers and right now have my eye on one in the flea market. She's been removed from her frame. She has the most beautiful blue eyes. I really want her and I think that your discussion of this has made me want her more. You know what they say, you can't go wrong purchasing what you love. (My lady doesn't qualify as a portrait because it is a photograph...still...)

  4. Really like him. He'd fit in anywhere. We had a six year loan of a wonderful civil war era soldier who looked like my brother. Too bad he went back to his owner!

  5. hi terri,

    i too adore portraits. i have my maternal grandmothers portrait in my living room and i love looking at it. it always scared my boys though when they were growing up. they thought she was watching them. hahha.


  6. cool that you took a picture of the painting, I agree really nice... when you find something that pulls at your heart it is a bother to leave it behind, I understand your problem... when I was in Vancouver I spotted an interesting metal piece for a nitestand (watch holder) or desk (paper clip holder), I was at the other end of the market about an hour later when I decided to go back and buy it... so I get how this painting is still in your thoughts...

  7. Perhaps you were lovers in another lifetime! You should buy him and be always dreaming up the ways you loved and lost in the past.

  8. Oh my, you absolutely need to take that handsome man home! He is so old-world, and the beautiful patina on the frame really makes him extra special. It's a cliche, but its true: art is what truly makes a home up a level and out of "catalogue land". Since art is so personal too, I believe in buying what you love when you find it, especially when it's a special, one of a kind item like this one. Well then, now you have my vote ;)