Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grandfather's Nose

I promised a post of this title to members of our artists' group which met last night, so here's the nose.

Apologies for the quality of the image. It's actually not my grandfather but my great, great, great great... (eight or nine times) grandfather. How do I know? Well, because my mother told me so. The portrait, shown here in another deplorably bad IPhone picture...


... hung on the wall of my parents' home for many years, latterly in the tiny cottage on the Welsh coast where they spent their last years. My mother was the keeper of the family tree--a passion that occupied her for more years than I can remember, resulting in numerous charts, anecdotes and histories which I have kept in storage for anyone in future generations who might be interested. Highlights on my mother's side, from a tome called, as I recall, "The Royal and Noble Families of England": a direct lineage from King Edward I through such luminaries as the Black Prince to the present day; with a blood infusion from the French St. Quentin family, whose Count and Countess lost their heads to the guillotine during the Revolution. Impressed?

This grandfather, though, is also clearly identifiable by the letter he is holding...


... addressed to "Mr. Clothier." I'm afraid it's not legible in this image. It's hard to make out these days even in the painting itself, which is badly in need of restoration. Not only does Grandfather need a nose job--someone, at some point along the way, saw fit to retouch it with gray paint--he also needs a good cleaning. Decades of coal-burning fires in the hearth during the nineteenth century and of cigarette smoke (my father's) in the twentieth have left a film of grime on the surface of the painting. I have no idea whether it's reparable and, if so, what the cost might be.

Oh, and you may be wondering about Grandmother. Here she is...


Quite the beauty, no? She doesn't need a nose job, but she could use a good clean.

So, promise kept.

2 comments:

WITTY WALKERS said...

Good to read you again Peter...see my Post on water today which by mistake I put on yrs on Insight!
Michael

PeterAtLarge said...

Hello, Michael. Welcome back! And thanks for the agua comment...