As we approach what would have been my mother in law's 92nd birthday, I wanted to tell a little story.
I'm not big into art history, but it's interesting that I remember two people who were important to me through artwork I saw in their houses. One of them was my mother inlaw.
The other day, one of my spouse's cousins texted me a photo with a short story of how she had taken it. I recognized the photo right away. It was a framed painting (a print, probably - yes, I'm that non-knowledgeable) that hung in my mother in law's house.
The painting the cousin sent me a picture of was of a woman and a girl, arms wrapped around each other. It was obvious they were mother and daughter and loved each other very much.
I was first in my future mother in law's home back in 1971 and I remember the painting being there. My mother inlaw had a very different taste in art than I do and I never asked her to identify it for me.
But the cousin, who lives in the Western United States, had. She took a picture of my mother in law's print on one of her visits out East to visit her father, who lives in New England. She asked about it, but all she could remember was a name "LeBron" (she thought). She tried researching it with no luck.
As we texted back and forth, she suddenly found the painting online. It was a Mme. Elisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun self portrait with her daughter Julie, painted in 1789. To be more accurate, Madame Vigée-Le Brun and her daughter, Jeanne-Lucie-Louise, known as Julie , who lived from 1780 to 1819.
Sad - like so many of that time, the daughter died young.
The amazing thing? Mme. Vigée-Le Brun was a woman. Talented female painters didn't get to be famous back then. And, that painting hangs in the Louvre, along with seven other paintings.
Although I believe the painting is in the common domain in the United States, I don't want to get into trouble by publishing a copy of it, but you can find it here, along with an art history analysis.
And here is a video I found if you are interested, which I have not looked at.
Mme. Le Brun also has at least one painting hanging in New York City's Metropolitan museum of art.
History hanging on a Eastern United States wall, and I never knew it.
I told my spouse's cousin that her picture made my night, and it did. I never even knew what I was looking at.
Is there any fine art that brings back memories for you?